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Dalton, Green lead Bengals past Chiefs, 28-6

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Dalton, Green lead Bengals past Chiefs, 28-6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Bengals had been written off just two weeks ago, when they were slogging their way through four straight losses that had cynics everywhere saying same `ol Cincy.

How things can change after just a couple of victories.

The first came against the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, the kind of win that causes people to start paying attention. The second came Sunday, a 28-6 rout of the woefully inept Kansas City Chiefs that has thrust Cincinnati right back into the playoff hunt.

Especially with four straight upcoming games against marginal competition.

``We felt like we gave a couple of games away,'' said Andy Dalton, who threw four TD passes against the Giants and accounted for three more against the Chiefs.

``We had a four-game losing streak. We should have played better during that stretch. But now we've got momentum, and we've got to keep it going. We've had two great wins, full-team wins with everybody doing their part, and we've got to keep that going throughout these last six games.''

Dalton threw for 230 yards, with touchdown tosses to A.J. Green and Mohamed Sanu, and also ran for a score. BenJarvus Green-Ellis had 101 yards rushing and another touchdown as the Bengals (5-5) handed the struggling Chiefs (1-9) their seventh straight defeat.

``There have been a lot of games - a four-game stretch - where I was not even playing in the fourth quarter,'' Green-Ellis said. ``We were trying to come back and were not running the ball. It feels good to go out there and get some of those things under wraps.''

The Chiefs sure wish they knew how that felt.

Jamaal Charles had 87 yards rushing, but that was the only highlight for a team whose only win this season required a franchise-record 18-point comeback to beat New Orleans.

Arrowhead Stadium was only about half-full most of the game, and a good portion of those who showed up were dressed in black - a grass-roots effort organized by fans who have been trying to pressure team ownership to clean out the front office.

``I focus on the game. I don't get into the crowd,'' Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said.

Perhaps he should have let his eyes wander.

What happened on the field didn't put him in a very good mood.

Dalton and Green shredded Crennel's porous pass defense, Green-Ellis pounded away at a front line that had played better of late, and a middle-of-the-road Cincinnati defense looked like an iron curtain against a Kansas City offense that has been an utter failure.

The result: The Bengals are back to .500, and eying back-to-back postseason appearances for only the second time in franchise history, while the Chiefs have dropped seven straight games in a single season for the first time since Oct. 5-Nov. 23, 2008.

``We aren't babies. We know that when we aren't winning fans are going to get mad,'' Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers said. ``We've got to find a way to turn this thing around.''

The Chiefs struck first for the second straight week Sunday, turning several nice runs by Charles into a 34-yard field goal by Ryan Succop, before reality set in.

The Bengals converted two fourth downs, one on an audacious faked punt, and Dalton capped the drive with a 5-yard fade pass to Green, who managed to stab the ball with one hand and then slap both feet into the end zone before falling out of bounds.

Peyton Hillis fumbled on the Chiefs' ensuing possession, their league-leading 31st turnover, and Cincinnati made it 14-3 later in the second quarter on Dalton's short TD run.

The Bengals' most impressive drive of the game came after they forced the Chiefs to punt for the third straight time, an 11-play, 78-yard masterpiece in which they faced third down once.

Ellis capped that one off with a short touchdown plunge for a 21-3 lead.

Matt Cassel deftly led the Chiefs to a field goal in the closing seconds of the half, but Crennel elected to put backup Brady Quinn into the game at quarterback to start the third quarter.

Cassel sustained a concussion earlier this season, and then lost his job to Quinn, who was active for the first time since sustaining his own concussion Oct. 28 against Oakland.

Quinn didn't fare much better leading the Kansas City offense, and the Bengals tacked on Sanu's touchdown catch in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

``Everyone in this building is frustrated,'' Cassel said. ``We don't want to go out and perform like that. We don't want to lose like that. We want to go out and compete and win games.''

NOTES: Bengals CB Terence Newman left with a concussion. Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe (neck) and left tackle Branden Albert (back) also were hurt. ... The Bengals were 3 for 3 on fourth down. ... DT Geno Atkins forced two fumbles, had a sack and led Cincinnati with six tackles. ... Cassel and Quinn combined to go 17 of 30 for 188 yards.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: What the Ramon Sessions signing means for Tomas Satoransky

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Associated Press

Wizards Tipoff podcast: What the Ramon Sessions signing means for Tomas Satoransky

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller offered their reaction to the Ramon Sessions signing and how it could affect Tomas Satoransky. Plus, how the Wizards match up with the new-look Cavs and how Kelly Oubre, Jr. broke out of his slump.

Chase also explained his epic fail with an Oubre interview and they revisited an Instagram post from months ago that foreshadowed much that has gone down this season.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

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USA Today Sports Images

Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

The world of college basketball has been on high alert since last fall when reports first surfaced of a long-term FBI investigation into the worst-kept secret in sports: college athletes being paid to play.

News surrounding the scandal died down after the inital wave of arrests, but Yahoo! Sports released a warning of sorts recently and followed it up on Friday by naming players (both past and present) for the first time. There were dozens of programs and players implicated, including Maryland's Diamond Stone.

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon released the following statement Friday afternoon.

"Late last night we were alerted of a report associating one of our former student-athletes with an agent. We are extremely disappointed, and we will fully cooperate with any investigation. I do not have a relationship with Andy Miller or anyone from his agency, and at no time have I ever had a conversation with Andy Miller or his agency regarding any Maryland basketball player. We remain steadfast in upholding a program of integrity that reflects the values of our University community."

Stone played for the Terps during the 2015-16 season, after which he left for the NBA. That Terps team was highly-ranked entering the season but ended up losing in the Sweet 16 to top-seeded Kansas.

RELATED: DIAMOND STONE ADMITS TO 'MISTAKES' DURING FRESHMAN YEAR AT MARYLAND

Andy Miller is the agent whose financial records were used to implicate so many players in the Yahoo! Sports report. It's no surprise that Turgeon would deny having a relationship with Miller regarding any of his players, but the question remains: What does this mean for Maryland basketball?

You can be sure that Turgeon will be meeting with both past and current assistant coaches Friday to confirm they have not had any involvement with Andy Miller. He'll also certainly be meeting with higher-ups at Maryland, as they try to cover their bases. 

That said, it seems unlikely Maryland would take an action as drastic as firing Turgeon over these allegations. There has been no evidence released so far that implies Turgeon had any knowledge of Stone's actions. Barring further information coming to light, it seems as though this is a case of Stone developing a relationship with Miller's agency separately from Maryland.

Some of the more vocal members of Maryland's fan base would like to think Turgeon is on the hot seat. The truth is, given his long-term contract and the current state of Maryland's finances, it's not currently feasible to fire him and expect to afford a more accomplished coach. Though if further reports indicate Turgeon was complicit, then all bets are off.

It remains possible the NCAA will impose punishments on the schools involved with this scandal, in the form of reduced scholarships, postseason bans, or worse. But that's likely off the table until further evidence comes out regarding how much schools and coaches actually knew. It is a near-certainty that some schools were in cahoots with Miller and other agents; the problem is identifying which schools were intentionally breaking the rules, and which were simply unaware. Ultimately, however, some degree of responsibility falls on the head coach.

For now, the biggest worry on the minds of Maryland fans should be vacated wins. If Diamond Stone was ineligible, then it's possible the victories Maryland recorded during the 2015-16 season will be erased from the record books. Unfortunately, this could include their run to the Sweet 16, which was the program's first in more than a decade.

Given the expectations surrounding the team during Stone's year in College Park, his tenure could already be considered a disappointment. Losing those wins would further dampen the memories fans have from that season.

On the bright side, at least the Terps didn't have a Final Four run to lose.