CINCINNATI (AP) — Carson Palmer had a horrid homecoming.
Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes, taking advantage of Oakland’s dreadful defense, and the Cincinnati Bengals showed their former franchise quarterback that they've moved on without him, beating the Raiders 34-10 on Sunday.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 129 yards and a touchdown against the NFL’s most generous defense. He had runs of 48 and 39 yards — the longest of his career — to set up scores.
With their third straight win, the Bengals (6-5) moved back into the playoff chase.
A brawl broke out after a play was whistled dead because of a penalty, and Oakland’s Tommy Kelly and Lamarr Houston ended up on top of Cincinnati’s Andrew Whitworth in the middle of a big scrum of players. All three were ejected.
Oakland (3-8) has lost a season-high four straight games, giving up 169 points in the process.
Palmer had a rough day all-around in his former town, going 19 of 34 for 146 yards with four sacks and an interception. The Raiders got Palmer in a midseason trade last season after he decided to hold out rather than play for the Bengals again.
He was booed by the 56,503 fans — the smallest crowd of the season at Paul Brown Stadium — when he went out for the coin toss. He got a hug from former teammate Rey Maualuga and finally met Dalton, who was drafted in the second round last year to replace him.
A sign in the upper deck read: ‘‘Winners Never Quit,’’ a reference to Palmer’s insistence he would never play for the Bengals again.
Dalton was 16 of 30 for 210 yards with two touchdown passes to Mohamed Sanu and one to Jermaine Gresham.
The first time he tried to pass, Palmer got a hint it would be a long day. Tackle Geno Atkins shot through the line virtually untouched and sacked Palmer as he faked a handoff. Palmer was sacked twice on Oakland’s first possession.
It never got a whole lot better. With running back Darren McFadden sidelined again by an ankle injury, the Raiders were missing one of their best options.
The NFL’s most generous defense allowed the Bengals to take control 24-0 in a dominant first half. Green-Ellis found a big hole on Cincinnati’s third play of the game and ran a career-best 48 yards before getting shoved out at the 1. Green-Ellis then carried the final yard.
On Cincinnati’s next series, the Raiders gave up a 44-yard reception by A.J. Green and a 27-yard reception by Gresham. Sanu made a one-hand touchdown catch for a 14-0 lead. The Bengals had 156 yards after only two series.
Dalton’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Sanu made it 21-0 midway through the second quarter. At that point, the Raiders’ offense hadn’t yet crossed midfield.
The half ended with one more Raiders mistake. Marcel Reece had Palmer’s pass go off his hands, and Chris Crocker intercepted with 8 seconds left. Mike Nugent’s 55-yard field goal tied the club record and put the Bengals up 24-0.
Oakland allowed 289 yards in the half — the most this season — and had only 83 yards, its fewest on offense since it managed 52 yards in the first half at Pittsburgh on Nov. 21, 2010.
Sebastian Janikowski’s 55-yard field goal ended the shutout in the third quarter, and Palmer beat a blitz by lofting a 20-yard touchdown pass to Denarius Moore.
The Bengals got a break in the fourth quarter when an inadvertent whistle wiped out Sanu’s fumble deep in Cincinnati territory with 7:22 to go. On the next play, the brawl broke out that resulted in the player ejections.
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