The Cleveland Browns beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-18, to finish off a successful 5-2-1 record at FirstEnergy Stadium this season. The game was a carbon copy of the Browns’ first win over the Bengals. Cleveland dominated the first three quarters of the game, but it allowed the Bengals to make it closer than it should in the fourth quarter. Score does not indicate how much the Browns dominated this game. Cleveland outgained Cincinnati, 493 total yards to just 209 total yards. The Browns were the much better team on Sunday.
The first half was all Browns, though, the first quarter started off a little slow for Cleveland. The Browns were unable to get on the board, with both teams going into the second quarter notched at zero. In the second quarter, the Browns turned it on to produce a dominant performance. The Browns put 16 points on the board, while the Bengals continued to be shutout by the stout Browns defense. It is a one-sided half, with the Browns outgaining the Bengals 255 total yards to just 36 total yards. Bengals quarterback Jeff Driskel had just two completions for a total of three yards passing. At the half, the Cleveland led Cincinnati, 16-0.
The Browns continued the onslaught in the second half. The third quarter saw the Browns add another touchdown to the lead. On the other side of the ball, the Browns defense continued to shut down the Bengals offense. But like the first game against Cincinnati, Cleveland let up on the gas too early. The Bengals outplayed the Browns in the fourth quarter, outscoring Cleveland 18-3. Luckily, the Browns big lead was too large to overcome for the Bengals. In the end, the Browns beat the Bengals, 26-18 to move to 7-7-1 on the season.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was excellent once again for Cleveland. He completed 27 of 37 for 284 yards and three touchdowns. He was on target versus the Bengals, placing perfect passes to his pass catchers throughout the game. He is the backbone of this team and franchise. The stadium was chanting his name throughout his impressive performance on Sunday. Here is Mayfield’s second touchdown of the game that shows the kind of accuracy he had in the game.
Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins had a great game for the Browns. He had six catches for 60 yards and a touchdown. He had another big catch that was taken away by a weak offensive pass interference call. Higgins was one of Mayfield’s favorite targets in the game, as he got the second most targets in the game with seven overall. Here is Higgins’ touchdown catch and run.
Browns Pass Rush
The Browns defense was great for most of the game (except for the fourth quarter). One of the best aspects of the Browns defense was the pass rush. The Browns defense had three sacks in the game, along five quarterback hits. The defense made Bengals quarterback Jeff Driskel uncomfortable all day and forced him to run away from pressure on many snaps.
Offensive Play Calling
Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens had another great day as play caller for the offense. He called a balanced attack for the most part. He showed his whole repertoire with misdirection, trick plays and beautiful play designs. Here is the trick play that had Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry throwing a pass.
The Browns once again did not finish off the game in beautiful, easy fashion. They relaxed too early, allowing Cincinnati to make it a lot closer of a game. The Bengals outscored the Browns 18-3 in the fourth quarter. The Browns offense and defense got too complacent. Here is the Bengal’s second touchdown of the fourth quarter.