The Cleveland Browns took advantage of a horrendous performance by Cincinnati Bengals starter Andy Dalton Thursday night. The Browns intercepted Dalton three times and held Dalton to just 86 yards passing as the Browns earned their first road victory, 24-3, over a divisional opponent since 2008.
Dalton’s 2.0 passer rating was the lowest by any starter this season, surpassing the 22.2 rating posted by Josh McCown in Tampa Bay’s 56-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 18. In addition, Dalton’s rating is the worst by any starting quarterback since Bruce Gradkowski posted a 1.0 rating in a start for Cleveland against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 28, 2008.
Gradkowski completed just 5 of 18 passes for 18 yards and two interceptions.. Thursday night against Cleveland, Dalton was 10 of 33 for 86 yards and three interceptions.
Per STATS, Inc., it’s the worst passer rating for a quarterback with at least 20 attempts since Jeff Garcia posted a 0.0 rating (again for Cleveland) against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 19, 2004. Garcia completed 8 of 27 passes for 71 yards with three interceptions.
Isaiah Crowell, Terrance West and Ben Tate each scored touchdowns and Buster Skrine twice intercepted Dalton as the Browns as they moved into a tie for first place in the AFC North. It’s also the first time they’ve won at least six games in a season since 2007.
Brian Hoyer fared much better in the blustery conditions in Cincinnati. Hoyer completed 15 of 23 passes for 198 yards for the Browns.
Cleveland had not won a road game against a divisional opponent since a 20-12 victory over the Bengals on Sept. 28, 2008. They snapped an 0-17 skid against the AFC North in road contests since that victory led by Derek Anderson, Jamal Lewis, Kellen Winslow Jr. and Braylon Edwards.