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CINCINNATI – 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.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org