JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 30: Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars is tackled by Rey Maualuga #58 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the game at EverBank Field. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
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Defense coming together, Bengals win 3 straight

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CINCINNATI (AP) -- One-fourth of the way through their season, the Cincinnati Bengals are in position to contend for a second straight playoff appearance. After the next two games, it gets a lot tougher.

The Bengals improved to 3-1 with a 27-10 win at Jacksonville that showed their depth. They won easily despite missing both starting cornerbacks.

Opponents haven't figured out how to slow the Dalton-to-Green combination that took the Bengals to the playoffs as a wild card last season and took the quarterback and receiver to the Pro Bowl as rookies.

A defense that started so horribly is finally settling down and moving up in the league rankings. With six more sacks in Jacksonville, the Bengals lead the NFL with 17 overall.

Up next is a home game against Miami (1-3).

Copyright Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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