Happy Halloween! The Cleveland Browns snapped their four-game losing streak in a major way, defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 32-13 on Monday Night Football in front of their home crowd. Let’s get to the full game recap.
The Bengals received the opening kickoff, and before their first offensive play, Cleveland got off to a frustrating start by having 12 men on the field on defense. Cincinnati picked up a couple of first downs, but as they got closer to scoring range, QB Joe Burrow had a pass tipped by DE Myles Garrett and then intercepted by CB A.J. Green! Cleveland took over at the 16 yard line.
A few plays into Cleveland’s first drive, Brissett found WR Donovan Peoples-Jones for a catch-and-run of 37 yards, into long field goal range. However, a holding penalty a few plays later by LT Jedrick Wills stalled the drive, and then K Cade York came on for a 53-yard field goal attempt. Just like to end last week’s game, the kick was blocked, keeping it a 0-0 game. On the Bengals’ second offensive drive, after they got to midfield, they faced a 3rd-and-10. For the second drive in a row, Garrett ended it by executing a nice spin move and sacking Burrow. Kevin Huber got off a short punt, allowing Cleveland to take over at the 31 yard line.
After a 13-yard pass to WR David Bell to open the drive, Cleveland tried some razzle dazzle with a couple of reverses and the ball in the hands of WR Amari Cooper. The play was designed for him to throw the ball, but he came under pressure — and still threw it, but right to the arms of S Vonn Bell, returned to midfield.
Cleveland’s defense came up with a stop of Cincinnati’s offense for the third drive in a row, pitching a first quarter shutout as Cincinnati punted to begin the second quarter. The Browns’ offense got one first down via the legs of RB Kareem Hunt to open their third drive, but on their next third down attempt, Brissett’s pass to Cooper was low and trapped against the ground; replay review ruled that it was an incomplete pass, forcing a punt.
Cleveland’s defense still stepped up to the plate by forcing a three-and-out, as CB Martin Emerson jumped the 3rd-and-2 pass by Burrow to knock the ball away from WR Tee Higgins. Peoples-Jones fair caught the punt at the 22 yard line. Cleveland’s next drive was their best of the game so far, with Brissett finding Cooper for 29 yards and then 18 yards on third down conversions to get to a goal-to-go situation. On 1st-and-goal from the 8 yard line, Brissett hit RB Kareem Hunt for a 5-yard gain. On 2nd-and-goal from the 3 yard line, Brissett motioned out and Chubb took the direct snap, running up the middle for the touchdown.
The Bengals had 12 men on the field for the extra point try, so Cleveland accepted the penalty and attempted a two-point conversion instead. Chubb got the handoff and plowed his way in to give the Browns an 8-0 lead with 5:04 to go in the game.
Cincinnati got to midfield with a pass interference penalty on their next drive, but then as Burrow was looking to throw the ball long, LB Sione Takitaki poked the ball away from Burrow and the defense recovered!
Chubb hurdled a defender as part of a 13-yard run after the turnover, getting the offense into long field goal range near the two-minute warning. The Bengals brought a blitz on third down and Brissett fumbled the ball with the Bengals recovering. Cincinnati put together a one-minute offense, but a sack by DL Isaiah Thomas set up a 3rd-and-14 at the 34 yard line. A dumpoff to the running back allowed Cincinnati to try a 47-yard field goal by K Evan McPherson. The kick was pushed to the right and no good!
The Browns took over at the 37 yard line with 0:40 remaining and one timeout. First down was a dumpoff to Hunt to move the chains out to midfield, and Cleveland burned their final timeout with 0:33 remaining. They ended up getting in range for a 55-yard field goal to end the half, and York drilled it to give them an 11-0 lead at the half.
Cleveland received the ball to begin the third quarter. After running the ball on their first five plays, Cleveland faced a 3rd-and-7. Brissett dropped back to pass, pump faked, and then found Peoples-Jones for a 26-yard gain. A few plays later, on 3rd-and-6, Chubb took the handoff on a draw play to get to a goal-to-go situation. On 2nd-and-goal from the 3 yard line, Brissett scrambled and dove for the pylon for a touchdown to give Cleveland an 18-0 lead.
Cleveland’s defense brought the heat again on third down, and LB Deion Jones sacked Burrow for the three-and-out.
The Browns’ offense continued to dominate, with Brissett coming up with timely throws to Peoples-Jones and Cooper, and finishing the drive with a 4-yard fade to Cooper for the touchdown. That gave Cleveland a 25-0 lead with 3:14 to go in the third quarter.
Cincinnati’s offense finally starting moving the ball to end the third quarter, but being down four possessions heading into the final quarter, Cleveland was well in control.
The Bengals faced a 3rd-and-1 from the 15 yard line to begin the fourth quarter. Burrow ran the quarterback sneak to move the chains, but every run helps move the clock in Cleveland’s favor, especially when they huddle afterwards. Nonetheless, Burrow finally got Cincinnati on the board as he found WR Tyler Boyd open for a touchdown (although Emerson tipped the pass before the catch). That made it a 25-6 game with 14:15 to go, but McPherson missed the extra point afterward.
Cleveland’s running game did the work early on their next drive, but then Brissett caught the Bengals by surprise by uncorking a 53-yard bomb to a diving Cooper. Two plays later, Chubb took it right up the middle for an 11-yard touchdown, making it a 32-6 game with 8:46 remaining.
On the Bengals’ next drive, after Cincinnati got past midfield, Garrett forced pressure and Burrow threw a pass down the left sideline. CB Greedy Williams was in front of and in position to intercept the ball, but Higgins reached over him and snagged it away before going the rest of the way for a touchdown, cutting Cleveland’s lead to 32-13 game with 6:40 to go.
Cincinnati attempted an onside kick, but it went out of bounds. Cleveland ran three plays to drain clock, as Cincinnati took timeouts, but couldn’t move the chains. Cleveland kept the offense on the field for a 4th-and-4 from the 40 yard line. However, they just tried to draw the Bengals offsides, taking the delay of game (which the Bengals declined) and sending the punt unit out. The punt was shanked, only going 10 yards to the 30 yard line.
The Bengals could do nothing further. A group of Browns sacked Burrow on second down, and they couldn’t complete passes on third and fourth downs, leading to a turnover on downs. Cleveland gave the ball to D’Ernest Johnson to close out the game before kneeling it. The Browns are now 3-5!
Up next, the Browns have a bye week before traveling to Miami in Week 10.
- QB Jacoby Brissett: 17-of-22 for 278 yards, 1 TD. 6 rushes, 12 yards, 1 TD.
- RB Nick Chubb: 23 carries, 101 yards, 2 TD.
- RB Kareem Hunt: 11 carries, 42 yards. 4 catches, 30 yards.
- WR Amari Cooper: 5 catches, 131 yards, 1 TD.
- DE Myles Garrett: 1.5 sacks.