Sports

Bengals set club record with 31-point quarter, brush aside the Browns 41-20

  • Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) passes against the Cleveland Browns in the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/David Kohl)

    Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) passes against the Cleveland Browns in the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/David Kohl)  (The Associated Press)

  • Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) knocks the ball loose from Cleveland Browns running back Chris Ogbonnaya in the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Cincinnati. Burfict recovered the fumble and ran it into the end zone for a touchdown. (AP Photo/David Kohl)

    Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) knocks the ball loose from Cleveland Browns running back Chris Ogbonnaya in the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Cincinnati. Burfict recovered the fumble and ran it into the end zone for a touchdown. (AP Photo/David Kohl)  (The Associated Press)

  • Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden (23) returns an interception for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)

    Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden (23) returns an interception for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)  (The Associated Press)

Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes and Cincinnati returned a blocked punt and a fumble for touchdowns during a 31-point second quarter that set a Bengals record and swept the AFC North leaders to a 40-21 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

The Bengals (7-4) head into their bye week with their division lead intact. They'd lost their last two games in overtime, tying the NFL record and allowing the Browns (4-6) to draw close.

The biggest quarter in club history left this one in hand by halftime. It ended as the most lopsided game in the intrastate series since Cincinnati's 30-0 win in Cleveland in 2006.

Dalton had a horrid start that helped Cleveland get a promising early lead. He threw two passes that were picked off by Joe Haden, who ran one of them back 29 yards for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead in the first quarter.

When the quarter ended, Cleveland fell apart.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org