NFL

It's a new Dalton in Cincy; Bengals ready to go all the way

Andy Dalton is ready to take the Bengals further than Ken Anderson and Boomer Esiason.

Dalton is off to a great start, the offense is flying and Cincinnati is 4-0. Nevermind the fact Dalton is 0-4 in the playoffs. Book a February trip to Santa Clara, Bengals fans.

One quarter of the NFL season is in the books, so let's overreact to what we've seen.

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Sure, Dalton and the Bengals have been impressive. But they have four wins against teams with a combined record of 6-10. Let's see where they stand after a tough three-game stretch against Seattle, at Buffalo and at Pittsburgh.

Besides, there's a pair of unbeaten AFC teams with pretty accomplished quarterbacks who will make the path to Super Bowl 50 tough. Tom Brady and the Patriots are 3-0. Peyton Manning and the Broncos are 4-0.

The Bengals host Denver on Dec. 28 in a game that could have home-field ramifications.

Here are other overreactions from Week 4:

OVERREACTION: Chip Kelly can only win in college. The Eagles blew a fourth-quarter lead and fell to 1-3 with a 23-20 loss at Washington.

REALISTIC REACTION: They're a kicker away from 3-1. Cody Parkey missed a field goal in the fourth quarter in a 26-24 loss at Atlanta in Week 1. Caleb Sturgis missed an extra point and a 33-yarder against the Redskins. The Eagles were 1-3 in Kelly's first season in 2013 and rallied to win the NFC East. Plus, the division is weak with three teams tied at 2-2.

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OVERREACTION: The Cowboys are doomed without Tony Romo. Dallas is 0-2 with Brandon Weeden after a 26-20 overtime loss at New Orleans.

REALISTIC REACTION: It's not Weeden's fault. He led the Cowboys to 28 points in a loss to Atlanta and threw a tying TD pass with 1:51 left against the Saints.

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OVERREACTION: The Fins are fried. A 27-14 loss to the Jets in London dropped the Dolphins to 1-3 and cost coach Joe Philbin his job.

REALISTIC REACTION: The Dolphins have a bye so it was the best time for owner Stephen Ross to make a change. They have winnable games against Tennessee (1-2) and Houston (1-3) coming up so new coach Dan Campbell has a chance for a quick turnaround.

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OVERREACTION: Who dat gonna beat dem Saints! Drew Brees returned from a shoulder injury and led the Saints to their first win over Dallas in overtime.

REALISTIC REACTION: They're still 1-3 in a division where the Falcons and Panthers are 4-0. It'll be a tough road for the Saints, who travel to face an angry Eagles team.

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OVERREACTION: K.C. is cooked. A 36-21 loss at Cincinnati put Kansas City at 1-3.

REALISTIC REACTION: The Chiefs lost to Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Dalton in the past three weeks. They could be 3-3 after playing the Bears and Vikings the next two weeks.

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OVERREACTION: Let Johnny Football play. The Browns lost 27-20 at San Diego and are 0-3 when Josh McCown starts. They're 1-0 when Johnny Manziel starts.

REALISTIC REACTION: McCown threw for 356 yards and two touchdowns against the Chargers. Blame that loss on the defense. He has completed 66.3 percent of his passes and has a 98.1 quarterback rating. Unless Manziel can also play defense, McCown deserves to stay in there.

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OVERREACTION: The Lions are going 0-16 again. Detroit is the only winless team in the NFL after a 13-10 loss to the Seahawks.

REALISTIC REACTION: If an illegal bat on the Seahawks was called after Calvin Johnson fumbled into the end zone, the Lions would've upset Seattle on the road. They're better than 0-4.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP-RobMaaddi