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story.lead_photo.caption Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) celebrates his touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

CINCINNATI -- Andy Dalton threw four touchdown passes in the first half -- three to A.J. Green -- against a defense that has bedeviled him throughout his career, and the Cincinnati Bengals held on for a 34-23 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night.

Dalton knocked the Ravens (1-1) out of playoff contention last season by throwing a 49-yard touchdown pass in the closing seconds of the final game in Baltimore. On Thursday, he sliced-and-diced a defense that has more often gotten the upper hand in their AFC North rivalry, leading Cincinnati (2-0) to an early 21-point lead.

Heading into the game, Dalton had thrown more interceptions (17) than touchdowns (15) against the Ravens, including a four-interception game at Paul Brown Stadium last season. Dalton finished 24 of 42 for 265 yards, throwing 4 touchdown passes for only the fifth time in his career.

Green set the tone with touchdown catches of 4, 28 and 7 yards on consecutive possessions, a career high. Upset that he fumbled twice during a 34-23 victory at Indianapolis on Sunday, he caught everything near him during the Bengals' early surge. Green finished with five catches for 69 yards.

Dalton's 14-yard touchdown throw to Tyler Boyd made it 28-7 late in the first half.

Joe Flacco was sharp in an opening 47-3 victory over the Bills, but couldn't do anything against Cincinnati until the Bengals led by three touchdowns. Flacco threw two touchdown passes, including a 21-yarder to John Brown that cut the deficit to 28-23 with 9:35 left.

Flacco fumbled with 2:42 to go -- Shawn Williams stripped the ball from behind -- setting up a field goal by Randy Bullock that closed it out. He finished 32 of 55 for 376 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.

Sports on 09/14/2018

Print Headline: Dalton, Green spark Bengals by Ravens

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