The Bengals scored on their first play from scrimmage, a 73-yard touchdown from Mohamed Sanu to A.J. Green, and did not slow down much, also scoring on a 48-yard pass by Dalton to Armon Binns in the first quarter.
Cincinnati gained 283 yards in the first half, rushing for 74 and passing for 209.
Robert Griffin III has struggled in his debut for the home fans, completing 5 of 10 passes for 36 yards. The rookie has ran twice for 15 yards.
Cincinnati stretched the lead to 24-7 late in the second quarter thanks to a Washington turnover that provided great field position. The Bengals took over at the Washington 12-yard line when Griffin III was sacked by Carlos Dunlap and fumbled. It took just two plays for the Bengals to score, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis punching in the score on a direct snap from one yard out.
A 36-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff with 31 second left in the half pulled the Redskins within two-touchdowns going into halftime.
Washington's only touchdown of the game came from the defense when pressure on Dalton forced him to throw a wayward swing pass which Rob Jackson caught as he dove into the endzone for the tying touchdown early in the first quarter.