Behind the strength of a 213-yard rushing attack (111 by Jeremy Hill) and a stifling pass defense, the Cincinnati Bengals downed the Cleveland Browns 23-10 on Sunday. Cincy won both matchups this year, they also defeated Cleveland 31-17 on October 23. This latest loss puts the Browns at 0-13 with 3 games to go in the season. Cincinnati’s season will last just as long unless they can get to the playoffs, which will require a lot of help. But, for this weekend at least, the Bengals got another taste of what it’s like to be winners.
What Worked, What Didn’t for the Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals’ D greeted Robert Griffin III’s return from injury by holding him to 104 yards passing. Between that, an interception and 3 sacks, RGIII looked like RG-thru. On the other hand, Bengals’ QB Andy Dalton was solid with 180 yards passing and 2 TDs to tight end Tyler Eifert. Cincinnati was up 20-0 before the Browns put points on the board – almost halfway through the 3rd quarter. Team Who Dey held the ball for close to 35 minutes.
The Cincinnati Bengals’ defense gave up 169 yards rushing to an 0-13 team. They surrendered 4 sacks. No receiver had more than 50 yards. Mike Nugent – are you sitting down – missed another extra point. Such stats may not be enough to mean a loss to Cleveland, but with Pittsburgh looming next week, those aren’t numbers we want to see again.
That game next week is more for pride than postseason at this point, but Cincy isn’t out of the playoff picture yet. Some things need to happen. For starters, it wouldn’t hurt if the Baltimore Ravens did a face plant on Monday Night Football against the New England Patriots. That’s realistic. Then Pittsburgh and Baltimore start losing. A lot. Then the Cincinnati Bengals win out. Hey, stranger things have happened.