Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ron Schwane/AP/Shutterstock (13602741cp) Cleveland Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) dives into the end zone for a touchdown with Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson (55) defending during the second half of an NFL football game in Cleveland Bengals Browns Football, Cleveland, United States – 31 Oct 2022
Browns 32, Bengals 13
The Browns, entering Monday night’s battle with divisional and in-state rival Cincinnati on a four-game losing streak, could hardly afford to fall short yet again. The Bengals entered the game on a bit of a hot streak, having won four of five while scoring 30 or more points in each of their last two games.
The Bengals’ first drive showed plenty of promise, moving deep into Browns’ territory despite Ja’Marr Chase’s hip injury causing him to miss his first game of the season. Browns’ defensive end, Myles Garrett, made a huge play to halt the Bengals’ progress, tipping a pass into the air for what would eventually become an interception by cornerback A.J. Green. The Cleveland offense, buoyed by a raucous and invigorated home crowd, advanced into Bengals’ territory after a huge reception by Donovan Peoples-Jones – but failed to score when their field goal was blocked. The Browns’ defense forced a punt on the next Cincinnati drive but gave the ball right back when wide receiver Amari Cooper attempted a strange, ill-advised throw and was intercepted by Vonn Bell.
Cleveland finally broke through offensively in the second quarter, driving steadily downfield and punching in a direct snap-rushing touchdown by Nick Chubb with five minutes to play before half. Chubb also added the two-point conversion on the ground, making it 8-0. Cincinnati’s second turnover of the game followed on the ensuing drive, a strip sack by Sione Takitaki of Joe Burrow that gave Cleveland the ball near midfield. Cleveland would squander the opportunity, as Jacoby Brissett’s desperate attempt to get rid of the ball while being sacked resulted in an interception by Akeem Davis-Gaither with under two minutes left in the half. Both teams would attempt field goals in the final seconds before the break, but only Cade York of the Browns would make his, extending Cleveland’s lead to 11-0.
The third quarter began with the Browns receiving the football, and they immediately marched downfield in a little over six minutes to extend their lead to 18-0 on Jacoby Brissett’s three-yard touchdown scramble. A trend throughout the night was Cincinnati’s inability to protect Joe Burrow, who was sacked four times before the third quarter even ended. After yet another Bengals’ punt, Cleveland all but put the game away with yet another touchdown drive – this time finishing the job with a reception by Amari Cooper.
The game moved into the fourth quarter with the Browns up 25-0 but with Cincinnati desperately pushing downfield to get back into it. The Bengals finally broke through with their first points of the game with 14:22 to go in the fourth quarter, a 13-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to Tyler Boyd making it 25-6. Cleveland wouldn’t stop working to extend the lead, though, hitting a deep pass to Amari Cooper on the ensuing drive that set up a Nick Chubb touchdown with less than nine minutes to play. Despite the game being all but over, the Bengals’ offense continued to throw the ball deep downfield. Burrow connected with Tee Higgins on a 41-yard touchdown with six minutes to go, bringing the score to 32-13 before failing to recover their onside kick.
Cleveland dominated the game in virtually every facet, sacking Joe Burrow five times while outgaining the Bengals by more than 150 yards. Nick Chubb ran for more than 100 yards with two touchdowns, his seventh game over the century mark in Cleveland’s eight this year. The win moves the Browns 3-5 on the season, keeping them within shouting distance of the top of the division, while Cincinnati falls to 4-4.
Next Week: Cincinnati: vs Carolina, Cleveland: Bye