Nov 25, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (12) celebrates with wide receiver Brandon Tate (19) after scoring during the first half against the Oakland Raiders at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Cincinnati Bengals Play Their Way Into Tie For AFC Wild Card With Five Games Remaining

When Cincinnati started the season 3-1, Bengals fans were already preparing themselves for another playoff run under second year quarterback Andy Dalton. Their dreams quickly fell from the sky, though, as the team went on a four game losing streak in the middle of the season. Then just as fans felt like all hope was lost, the team roped-in three wins in a row and now heading in to the final stretch of the season, playoff talks have begun once again.

The Oakland Raiders proved to be no match for the surging Bengals on Sunday. The Bengals excelled through the air, on the ground, and on defense. Andy Dalton picked up 210 passing yards and threw for three touchdowns. Rookie Mohamed Sanu was the beneficiary of two of Dalton’s scoring passes and had five receptions for 29 yards during the game. Jermaine Gresham caught the third touchdown pass from the quarterback and added 41 yards of his own on four receptions. Though A.J. Green was shut out for the first time in nine games, the receiver picked up 111 yards on just three receptions.

Cincinnati’s run game also excelled. BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 129 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries from scrimmage. He was backed up by Cedric Peerman who added 61 yards on the ground on eight carries. The team finished the game with 221 rushing yards against the Oakland defense.

The Bengals’ defense also came up big during the game. Chris Crocker intercepted Carson Palmer with eight seconds left in the first half. Then Rey Maualuga recovered a Palmer fumble to start the fourth quarter of play. Geno Atkins, Michael Johnson, Wallace Gilberry, and Manny Lawson accounted for four sacks on the Raiders quarterback and the team added eight more quarterback hits to that total. Cincinnati’s defense held Oakland to just 218 total yards of offense during Sunday’s game.

The Bengals bettered their record to 6-5 on Sunday over the Oakland Raiders. Not only has Cincinnati broken the .500 plane, they now find themselves tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the final AFC Wild Card berth. If the team stays on this path, the next week has them poised to overtake the Steelers in the both the Wild Card and AFC North standings. If they are able to stay on this path, the team is set to make history for the organization.

Tags: A.J. Green Andy Dalton Bengals BenJarvus Green-Ellis Carson Palmer Cedric Peerman Cincinnati Cincinnati Bengals Geno Atkins Jermaine Gresham Manny Lawson Michael Johnson Mohamed Sanu Oakland Raiders Pittsburgh Steelers Raiders Rey Maualuga Wallace Gilberry

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