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Bengals back to even as Palmer comes to town

Associated Press Modified: November 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm •  Published: November 19, 2012

The Bengals were playing so well under rookie quarterback Andy Dalton that they traded Palmer to the Raiders six games into the 2011 season, getting a first-round pick as part of the deal. Dalton led the Bengals to the playoffs as a 9-7 wild card last season, but they lost to the Texans in the opening round.

Cincinnati hasn't won a playoff game since 1990, going 0-3 in the playoffs. The Bengals have had only three winning records in those 21 years.

With Palmer staying away from the team before the trade in 2011, Dalton was able to avoid drama while becoming the new face of the franchise.

"The only time that Carson was brought up was when y'all were bringing it up," Dalton said Monday. "It wasn't really talked about in the locker room. The coaches weren't talking about it. Obviously because he wasn't here, it's something to talk about it. But nobody in the locker room was talking about it."

Dalton reached the Pro Bowl as a rookie by completing 58 percent of his throws for 3,398 yards with 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, a passer rating of 80.4. In 10 games this season, he has completed 64 percent for 2,559 yards with 20 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 92.7 passer rating that ranks 11th in the league.

In the last two games, Dalton has thrown six touchdown passes without an interception. He threw at least one interception in each of the first eight games.

"That was the biggest thing that was bothering me this year — the turnovers," Dalton said. "I've got 11 interceptions. That's not what you want. So it's been an emphasis."

NOTES: Lewis said CB Terence Newman, who left the game with a concussion, is expected to practice this week. WR Andrew Hawkins is day-to-day with a sore knee, injured in practice last Friday. ... Lewis' called A.J. Green's one-hand touchdown catch "kind of Houdini-ish." Green reached out with his left hand, grabbed the ball, then got both feet down while falling. He's caught a TD pass in nine straight games, one shy of Carl Pickens' franchise record.


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