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Dalton earns AFC weekly honor


Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for Sunday’s performance at Buffalo, where he completed 26 of 40 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns to lead the team to a 27-24 victory in overtime.

Dalton’s passer rating of 105.9 was his season high, as were the 337 yards and three touchdowns. The 26 completions equaled the total he posted in the season opener at Chicago.

“It’s something for me, but obviously I didn’t do it by myself,” Dalton said of the award. “We had a lot of guys making plays out there. It was big for us to come out and get a win on the road and for us to do some things well offensively that resulted in me being able to get the award. But it’s definitely a great honor.”

It’s the second player of the week award for Dalton, who also earned the honor last year when he went 21 of 30 for 199 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Sunday at Buffalo, Dalton was 4 of 4 for 55 yards in overtime, leading to Mike Nugent’s game-winning 43-yard field goal. He completed passes to eight different receivers and used his feet to convert a pair of third downs with scrambles.

“A lot of people give him heat, but from day one we’ve had his back no matter what,” wide receiver A.J. Green said. “He’s the quarterback to get us to the next level.”

Dalton is the first Bengal to win a weekly award this season. The last Cincinnati player to do it was defensive tackle Geno Atkins, who was named AFC Defensive Player off the Week for his Week 16 performance last year in the 13-10 win at Pittsburgh.

The Bengals earned six weekly or monthly awards last year, tying a franchise record.

Deja Detroit: Sunday’s trip to Ford Field to play the Detroit Lions is sure to stir memories made 801 days prior when Dalton and Green made their NFL debuts in the 2011 preseason opener there.

The game also marked the first action since the end of the NFL lockout, and since former quarterback Carson Palmer announced he would retire if he wasn’t traded.

“We thought we were ready to go 0-16,” offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said. “That’s what the prediction was.”

The Bengals fell behind 14-0 before they took a snap on offensive and went on to lose 34-3. But it was simply a bumpy start to what would be the first of back-to-back playoff runs.

“It was a young football team’s first time really being in that situation,” Whitworth said. “We have come a long way from there. It will be great to go back there and have an opportunity to play well.”

Strange stat: The Lions rank 30th out of 32 NFL teams by allowing an average of 6.6 yards on first down, but they are No. 2 in third-down efficiency, limiting opponents to a 28.6-percent conversion rate.

“It’s kind of been feast or famine with them,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said. “On third down they’re playing lights-out. But they’ve given up some plays. We’re not even halfway through the season. It’s a small sample right now, so a lot of things can get distorted.”

Practice report: Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis missed practice Wednesday due to illness. Also out were cornerback Terence Newman (abdomen) and defensive tackle Devon Still (back).

Center Kyle Cook (shoulder) was limited.

Receiver Andrew Hawkins, fullback Chris Pressley and quarterback Zac Robinson were eligible to make their practice debuts Wednesday but did not. Hawkins is on the Injured Reserve-Return list, while Pressley and Robinson are the Physically Unable to Perform list.


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