CINCINNATI — The Bengals ended the longest losing streak in their history and finally shed their distinction as the NFL’s lone winless team.
They also got coach former Husker Zac Taylor his first win as head coach.
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Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton returned from one of the lowest points of his nine-year career and got a long-awaited victory Sunday for the coach who benched him, throwing a touchdown pass during a 22-6 victory over the New York Jets. The Bengals are now 1-11.
Taylor benched Dalton after the eighth loss, deciding it was time to look toward next year and see if Ryan Finley fit in their plans. With the rookie struggling and the season careening toward 0-16, Taylor reversed course and went back to Dalton, who made the difference in front of the smallest crowd in Paul Brown Stadium’s 20-year history.
Carlos Dunlap and Sam Hubbard dunked Taylor with ice water in the final seconds on a cold, gray, December day when he got the inaugural win, courtesy of the quarterback he’d benched. Dalton got a game ball as a thank you.
“For him to come back and lead us and get this win, it says a lot about his character,” Taylor said.
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