The Browns settled for a 28-yard field goal on 4th-and-1 to begin the second quarter, cutting the Bengals’ lead to 7-3. Cleveland’s defense then forced a quick three-and-out, and the Browns proceeded to march down the field again with run plays by read-option quarterback Kevin Hogan and running back Isaiah Crowell. By the end of the drive, Cody Kessler was being checked for a possible concussion, but Crowell still punched it in from a yard out to give Cleveland a 10-7 lead!
On the Bengals’ next drive, though, QB Andy Dalton found WR Brandon LaFell wide open for a 44-yard touchdown, and it came against CB Jamar Taylor. It was one of those plays I pointed out from earlier this season where Taylor guesses wrong for the inside route and is burned outside. This time, it gave the Bengals a 14-10 lead.
Then, head coach Hue Jackson played a hand in blowing the end of the half. Cleveland could have gone for it on 4th-and-3 in borderline field goal range, but decided to punt. That’s fine. But then, Cincinnati ran the ball on their first play, in essence conceding the half...only for Jackson to call a timeout. If Jackson didn’t want to try converting a decent percentage situation before, why would he care about a no-timeout, long-field situation with a fourth-string quarterback? The decision snowballed into Dalton hitting WR A.J. Green on a 48-yard Hail Mary to WR A.J. Green to end the half.
Cincinnati leads 21-10 at the half. Cleveland will get the ball to begin the third quarter.
Game: Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Date/Time: Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 1:00 PM ET
Television: CBS - Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker
Local Radio: ESPN 850 WKNR, 92.3 The Fan, 98.5 FM WNCX