CINCINNATI -- While quarterback Andy Dalton's struggled and some timely, stingy defensive play factored heavily in the Cincinnati Bengals' 34-17 win Sunday, there were a few other items that did, too. Here's a quick look at four leftovers from the Bengals' regular-season finale against the Ravens:
Record-setter. A little lost in Dalton's Jekyll and Hyde performance Sunday was the fact that he set a pair of Bengals single-season passing records. He became the new passing yards and touchdowns leader, passing marks originally set by Carson Palmer. Like Dalton, Palmer also had a double-digit win season this year. But because he plays in the ultra competitive NFC West where three teams had at least 10 wins, Palmer won't be heading to the postseason. The Cardinals were the odd team out. With a 281-yard, two-touchdown performance Sunday against the Ravens, Dalton did just enough to finish the regular season with a team record 4,296 yards and 33 touchdowns. His record-setting touchdown was a 16-yard strike that receiver Marvin Jones caught in the back of the end zone with one hand.
The Big Tipper. At 6-foot-7, Michael Johnson's height alone gives him enough of an advantage when rushing off the edge at opposing quarterbacks. Combine that with his reflexes and an uncanny sense of awareness to get his hands up high at the line of scrimmage when balls are thrown, and he can be downright difficult to pass around. With eight batted passes this season, including one Sunday that was deflected straight into cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick's hands for an interception return for a touchdown, Johnson ended the regular season leading the NFL in tipped passes at the line. He's not sure where his sense of tipping passes comes from, but he knows it's an invaluable trait to have. Of Johnson's eight batted passes, seven have come in wins.
It's been a while. Kickoffs aside, Mike Nugent had been one of the least-used Bengals across the past six weeks. That could be considered a good thing. During that stretch, the kicker had only been called upon once to attempt a field goal. In the previous three games entering Sunday's, he didn't even attempt a field goal. That attempt-less streak was snapped Sunday, though, when he was relied upon twice after the Bengals' offense stalled twice well inside opposing territory. He made both field goals. Nugent is the NFL's least-used place-kicker, attempting just 22 field goals all regular season. That's well below the league average of 31 attempts by kickers this year. The Bengals' lack of kicks are in part a product of having the league's second-most efficient red zone offense this season.
Vontaze leads league. Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict ended the regular season leading the NFL in tackles with 171. Unofficially, he had 14 tackles in Sunday's win. By reaching 171, he shattered the Bengals' recorded tackles mark by 20. In 1988, linebacker Tim Krumrie had 151 tackles. Burfict landed on 151 three weeks ago at the end of the Bengals' game at Pittsburgh. His first tackle the next week against Minnesota gave him the team record. Along with leading the league in stops, Burfict on Friday was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time. The second-year linebacker went undrafted in 2012.