Dalton's 3 TD passes lead Bengals over Rams 31-7

Posted at 4:28 PM, Nov 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-29 16:28:53-05

CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Bengals emerged from their brief skid with a throwback game.

Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes - two of them to A.J. Green - and the Bengals played more like they did during the first half of the season, beating the St. Louis Rams 31-7 on Sunday.

After dropping a pair of close prime-time games, the Bengals (9-2) were back in sync against a team that struggles to score and keep up. The 31 points equaled the second-most against St. Louis this season.

The Rams (4-7) have dropped four in a row, in large part because their offense ranks last in the league in passing. They switched quarterbacks last week, but Case Keenum got a head injury during a 16-13 loss in Baltimore and was limited in practice.

Nick Foles, who started the first nine games, returned and threw three interceptions. The most costly one came when he avoided the rush and floated a pass that Leon Hall picked off and returned 19 yards for a touchdown.

St. Louis has scored 13 or fewer points in each of the last three games.

The longest winning streak in Bengals history ended with losses to Houston on Monday night and Arizona on Sunday night. Back at home in an afternoon game, Cincinnati settled down and pulled away.

Dalton was 20 of 27 for 233 yards. He threw touchdown passes of 9 and 18 yards to Green, who hadn't caught two in a game since the third week of the season in Baltimore. Tyler Eifert also had a 22-yarder, giving him the league lead with 12 TD catches.

Jeremy Hill ran for a season-high 86 yards. He limped off the field in the fourth quarter and got his left ankle taped.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher intended to stay with Keenum if he was healthy, but the quarterback didn't have a full practice last week. Foles went 30 of 46 for 228 yards. He has seven touchdowns and nine interceptions this season.

The Rams' best play came when running back Todd Gurley took a snap in the wildcat formation in the second quarter. He handed off to Tavon Austin, who ran for 60 yards - more than the Rams had managed in all to that point. Austin's 5-yard run finished the drive.

Austin had a team-high 63 yards on four runs. He also caught six passes for 33 yards. Gurley was limited to 19 yards on nine carries, with the Bengals focused on stopping the run game.

There was more self-destruction by the Rams. A penalty for running into the punter extended Cincinnati's 14-play drive to a field goal in the second quarter.