Dalton > Rodgers down the stretch

AP Photo/Tom Uhlman

Andy Dalton and company took a little while to get going, but managed to beat the Packers.

What was the key to the Cincinnati Bengals’ 34-30 win over the Green Bay Packers?

In what was a topsy-turvy game, the Bengals won because they took advantage of a late turnover and the Packers failed to take advantage of early Bengals mistakes.

But along with that was the work of the quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers had a rare bad day. Andy Dalton rose to the challenge late in the game, particularly once the Packers lost Clay Matthews to injury.

Packers’ wide receivers slowed by Bengals

Rodgers completed 79 percent of his throws the first two weeks when targeting a wide receiver, but the Bengals were able to hold him to 18-for-30 when throwing to one in this game.

The Bengals limited the Packers’ wide receivers Sunday, holding them to 47 yards after the catch. Last week against the Redskins, Packers wide receivers gained 178 yards after the catch.

Rodgers had three passes batted down at the line of scrimmage in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter Sunday, including his final attempt on 4th-and-5 with 1:25 remaining.

Rodgers had only one game in the last five seasons with three passes batted down prior to Sunday.

This was the first time in 36 games that Rodgers had more interceptions in a game than he had touchdown throws.

Dalton picked apart the Packers

Dalton completed 11-of-13 passes against four or fewer pass rushers (a career-best 84.6 percent), including all nine attempts in the second half.

Opponents entered the game completing 71 percent of their passes against the Packers’ standard rush, the seventh-highest rate in the league.

Dalton went 0-for-2 with an interception and a pass defended targeting A.J. Green in the first half. In the second half none of Dalton’s attempts to Green were disrupted by a Packers defender. He was 4-for-6 for 46 yards and a touchdown when throwing to Green.

Did You Know?

Rodgers is now 5-17 as a starting quarterback in games decided by four points or less.

Elias Sports Bureau Stat of the Day

The Bengals are the first team to win a game in which they allowed 30 straight points since the Cowboys beat the Redskins in Week 1 of the 1999 season.