They nearly blew their lead in the fourth quarter, but the Browns held tough and got a win in 2010’s first Battle of Ohio.
The 23-20 victory ends a three-game losing streak against the Bengals and gets the team their first victory since Mike Holmgren began remaking the organization. Befitting a team that lost fourth quarter leads in all three of their losses, they didn’t make it easy.
The Browns blew much of a 23-10 third quarter lead and let Terrell Owens take them apart to the tune of 10 catches and 222 yards. They also didn’t complete a pass in the game’s final 27 mintues, but they held late with a little help from Chad Ochocinco. Ochocinco was flagged for pass interference on a key third down play that knocked the Bengals out of field goal range with just over five minutes to play. Matt Roth sacked Carson Palmer on the next play and the Bengals had to punt.
Peyton Hillis took care of things from there. He ran six straight times and broke the last one for 24 yards to let the Browns go into the victory formation. Hillis finished with 102 yards, his second straight game north of the century mark, and scored a touchdown in the third quarter. He’s the first Browns running back to score in four straight games since Greg Pruitt in 1975.
The loss not only snapped the Bengals’ winning streak over the Browns, but it stopped their streak against the entire AFC North at eight games.