A.J. Green is playing at a Pro Bowl level again, one of the biggest reasons the Bengals are holding onto first place in the AFC North.

The receiver missed three games and most of another one with an injured big right toe. He had only 23 catches in his first six games, making few big plays along the way.

In the past two games, Green has 18 catches and is forcing defenses to focus on him again. He had a season-high 12 catches for 121 yards on Sunday during a 22-13 win over the Houston Texas that kept Cincinnati (7-3-1) atop the tightly bunched division.

Quarterback Andy Dalton is no longer hesitating to go to his best receiver when he's covered.

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