After enduring four weeks of a spiraling, the Bengals have seized back momentum of their season with authority.
Cincinnati beat Kansas City 28-6 at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. That marked the second consecutive blowout coming off their four-game losing streak. Last week the Bengals (5-5) beat the defending Super Bowl champion Giants 31-13.
The last time the Bengals won back-to-back games by at least 18 points was 1985. For Marvin Lewis, the recipe is simple.
"The key thing is we continue to put up touchdowns in the red zone," he said. "We continue to avoid turnovers."
After throwing at least one interception in every game this season, QB Andy Dalton managed a second straight clean game. He was 18 of 29 for 230 yards and two touchdowns without a pick. More important, Cincinnati scored four touchdowns in four trips to the red zone.
As the Bengals and their quarterback gather steam, the Chiefs (1-9) are in a freefall after their seventh consecutive loss. Seven of their nine losses have come by double digits.
Fans, who staged a blackout in protest of ownership's failure, headed to the exits early to leave the second half played in front of a smattering of frustrated fans.
When the game turned: Facing third-and-goal from the 11-yard line and leading 7-3 in the second quarter, Dalton connected with Jermaine Gresham at the 6-yard line where he met two Kansas City defenders. The 265-pound tight end carried the two Chiefs and absorbed hits from two more as he powered his way to the goal line. The effort came up just short but allowed the Bengals to go for it on fourth down; Dalton ran for a TD, and the Bengals never looked back.
Highlight moment: WR A.J. Green rates the one-handed flip catch he made at UGA against Colorado as the best of his career. The grab he made for a TD in the first quarter against Kansas City may now be in the conversation. With two defenders screening him from a bullet pass from Dalton, Green extended one hand around the two, snagged the pass and kept his feet in bounds for a TD. How exactly he saw the ball, much less held onto it with one hand only adds to the growing legend of Green among the best wideouts in the NFL.
- Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis -- 25 rushes for 101 yards, one touchdown. First 100-yard rushing game for the Bengals this season
- Bengals DT Geno Atkins -- 6 tackles, 1 sack, 1 QB hit, 1 TFL
- Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles -- 17 rushes for 87 yards and four receptions for 31 yards
- Bengals WR Green -- 6 receptions, 91 yards, 1 TD.
What they said about the Bengals back-to-back blowouts:
- Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden -- “We're starting to put it all together. Momentum and confidence are a dangerous combination and right now we have that going.”
- Bengals coach Lewis -- “Like a pro golfer, you can't stay on the tour if you don't do it play after play, round after round."
- Bengals QB Dalton -- “It is a full team playing there. Not just one side that is doing it. We feel like we got some momentum -- now we got to keep it going.”
Numbers you should know: Kansas City finished 1 of 11 on third downs Sunday, a season low. Combine that with the 2 of 13 effort last week against Pittsburgh and the Chiefs converted only 3 of their last 24 third downs for 12.5 percent.
Record breaker: Green's first-quarter touchdown marked the ninth consecutive game with a receiving TD. That set the Bengals' single-season mark. He was previously tied with WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The franchise's overall mark of 10 -- spanning two seasons -- is held by Carl Pickens.
Green's nine-game, single-season streak has only been done twice in NFL history, per Elias. The last time was by Jerry Rice (12 in 1987).
Going for it: The Bengals went for it three times on fourth down and converted all three, including a 32-yard run by Cedric Peerman on a fake punt. The Bengals have now converted 11 of 14 fourth-down attempts this year.
Injury update: Chiefs -- WR Dwayne Bowe injured his neck and didn't return in the second half. It was the first time he was held without a catch since 2007. ... Bengals -- CB Terence Newman sustained a concussion in the second half and did not return.
Going forward: Bengals -- The Bengals ride their wave of momentum and two-game blowout streak into the grand return of QB Carson Palmer. The storylines will be humming as the QB who demanded a trade away from the franchise comes back, but Cincinnati's chance to jump above .500 should top all those. … Chiefs -- The fans are disenchanted. The team plays disinterested. The quarterbacks are disasters. We have a clear front-runner on the chase for the No. 1 draft pick.
Follow Paul Dehner Jr. for Bengals updates on Twitter at @CBSBengals.