Coming off of the bye with four games to go, could the Cleveland Browns pick up their first win of the season? Maybe I should have laughed as I asked that question, because the answer was “of course not.” The Browns fell to 0-13 on the season with a 23-10 loss in Cleveland to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals got the ball first and easily marched down the field, finishing the drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass from QB Andy Dalton to TE Tyler Eifert to make it 7-0. After a three-and-out by the Browns, Cincinnati went right back down the field and saw RB Jeremy Hill score from one yard out to make it 13-0. The extra point was then missed, and Cleveland tried to return it for two points:
Mike Nugent’s kick is blocked!— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 11, 2016
… and then this happened: https://t.co/KADy2VQVnj
It was a fun attempt, but ultimately led to nothing. Robert Griffin III struggled to get going in the first half, completing just 2-of-10 passes for 20 yards. After Griffin was picked off on a fleaflicker from his own end zone, the Bengals answered with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Eifert to go up 20-0. It would’ve been more at the half, but K Mike Nugent pushed another field goal wide right.
Cleveland attempts the FLEA-FLICKER from their own end zone...— NFL (@NFL) December 11, 2016
It did not turn out well. #Picked #CINvsCLE https://t.co/LFtVqzJyMv
Cleveland began the second half with an ugly drive, but Cincinnati had to punt on their first drive too. The Browns finally got into Cincinnati territory with a 42-yard run by RB Isaiah Crowell. After FB Dan Vitale dropped a wide open touchdown pass at the goal line, Griffin’s quarterback sneak on 3rd-and-goal from the one just barely got in to make it a 20-7 game.
@RGIII plows through for the TD! #CINvsCLE https://t.co/BeHv4sX0k9— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 11, 2016
If nothing else, it puts Griffin in the history books as having had a touchdown as a member of the Browns. Cleveland had another drive rolling at the end of the third quarter, leading to the start of the fourth quarter. They couldn’t convert in the red zone, though, and settled for a 30-yard field goal by K Cody Parkey to make it a 20-10 game.
Cincinnati drained a good amount of clock and hit a 44-yard field goal to take a 23-10 lead. The Browns got to midfield on their next drive, but then back-to-back sacks by DT Geno Atkins forced Cleveland to punt. They never got the ball back.
- QB Robert Griffin III: 12-of-28 for 104 yards, 1 INT. 7 rushes, 31 yards, 1 TD.
- RB Isaiah Crowell: 10 rushes, 113 yards.
- The Browns had four sacks, a season high. All of them came in the first half.
- The sacks went to DE Emmanuel Ogbah (1.5), OLB Jamie Collins (1), OLB Cam Johnson (1), and DT Stephen Paea (0.5).
- OLB Jamie Collins led the Browns with 15 tackles.