Browns come back, beat Bengals

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The Browns had a rough game today in Cincinnati, but in the end they did just enough to win.

The Browns lost Odell Beckham to a knee injury and struggled for much of the game on both sides of the ball, but Baker Mayfield ended up throwing five touchdown passes, including a game-winner in the final minute, as the Browns won 37-34. The win improves Cleveland to 5-2 this season.

The Bengals lost Jonah Williams and Trey Hopkins to injuries and had a hard time protecting Joe Burrow, but the rookie quarterback still managed to complete 35 of 47 passes for 406 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception.

The Bengals appear to have a keeper in Burrow, but at 1-5-1 they’re clearly not in playoff contention. The Browns, however, are in good playoff shape. They’re not at the level of the Steelers and Ravens atop the AFC North, but we may see Cleveland as a wild card this season. The Browns are heading in the right direction.

23 responses to “Browns come back, beat Bengals

  1. Baker Mayfield showed some fight today. Started 0/5, then got it together (after OBJ was out. Coincidence?) And lit it up the rest of the game. I know it’s a small sample size, but they might be a more cohesive offense if they used Donovan peoples-jones more instead of OBJ. I think Baker wants to please his receiver so he forces passes whenever he’s in the game. Good win for the Browns.

  2. Looked like a different QB after OBJ left. Maybe he tried to force it to him too much? Maybe the backups just try harder? It was the Bengals. Maybe a combination of all three?

  3. Boo birds out early for Baker and he turns around and has a game for the ages. Hats off to him. That was some catch and throw to win the game. Take 5-2 no matter how you get there.

  4. Burrow needs OL help and the Bengals need to make plays on defense; I mean, like any plays other than a random one here or there, along with some pressure on the QB. They’re two off-seasons away, if they can keep Burrow from being badly injured.

  5. In Cleveland’s 5 wins, it scored over 30 points each game; the total of its 2 losses is 13. I still maintain the Browns defense is horrible. And after watching some of the defensive alignments today, I think a lot of the defensive problems are not so much with the players (although I wonder how some of them can be called professional football players) but with the alignments called by the DC. But with throwing 5 TDs, the Cleveland malcontents and ESPN lounge lizards will still blame Mayfield for allowing the Bengals to come so close to beating them. Didn’t he have a streak of 18 straight receptions in this game?

  6. The Browns barely beat probably the worst team in the AFC twice this year, and it was more than obvious who the best QB was in this game. I mean for most of the game, who looked like the 4-year Veteran and who looked like they were playing in their 7th NFL game (both Half’s count)? Burrow carries his team on his back and has come within one possession to win a number of his games. Baker looked like one of the worst QB’s in the NFL in 1st Half (which counts too), fortunately Stefanski starting running the ball and keeps Baker out of the pocket (where he can’t see) with quick, short out of the pocket throws. You have to win the good teams in the NFL to be a contender, and look at the scores of their games (and Baker’s performances) against the better team like Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Are we just supposed to forget about those performances because the Browns beat the Bengals?? Baker is the 4th best QB in the AFC North, so not sure I’m ready to anoint him as anything other than a undersized, game manager.

  7. That bengala defense is abysimal. Can’t generate any pressure they are so bad at every level. Anarumo is a high school coach. Credit Cleveland for hanging in there but don’t read too much into it, that defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed.

  8. Browns offense only struggled until Beckham left the game. Then it was almost like everyone was like, “finally we can just play football instead of trying to make OBJ happy” and started scoring like they were playing Madden on easy.

    That secondary is killing Cleveland though. Dropping easy interceptions seems to be their MO. That side of the ball needs to get healthy quick.

  9. And oh yea, OBJ’s injury which looks like might have him out for the rest of the season, is on Baker where again he got picked on his very first pass of the game. At least this one wasn’t run back for a TD like the one last week against Pittsburgh, but OBJ trying to prevent that from happening is why he hurt his knee and is probably out for the season according to early reports.

  10. Sure hope people are done pining for Case Keenum. Did y’all not see him in Denver? Like his personality or not, Baker *is* our Quarterback. Gritty af today! 5-2!

  11. “struggled for much of the game on both sides of the ball” yeah. Quarterback finished the game 22 of 23 with five scores and one spike. Offense posted 37 points. The struggle is real!

  12. The Bengals have been in every game save the Ravens one. Let’s not act like they’re wretched offensively.

  13. Slow your roll on the Baker praise! Bengals Defense is again the worst in the NFL. Burrow puts 400 yds and 4 scores and still loses? That kid is the real deal. Imagine if he had Bakers clean pocket. What a glorious sight that would have been to behold! Cincy spent around 200 million on defensive free agents this year and I think all of them are on IR. At least the big money ones… That ship is cruising in the right direction. Look out for Burrow Bengals next year

  14. Browns’ defense was terrible, absolutely terrible, but Baker bailed them out. First time this year he has looked like the superstar he was supposed to be. Granted, the Bengal defense is awful, but still, he hit 22 passes in a row and was putting the ball right on the money every time. Hopefully this is the game that turns everything around for him.

    Burrow is tremendous. If the Bengals can build around him they’re going to get good in a hurry.

  15. Bengals are making progress and still 2-3 drafts and a new coaching staff that are proven winners before they’ll go back to the layoffs

  16. I feel like the last time I saw a defense as bad as the Bengals’ it was when Chuck Bresnahan was the DC. I remember in 2006 Carson Palmer would seemingly have to throw a TD on every drive to keep the team in the game because the D couldn’t stop anything.

    I swear every time Baker thew it in the 2nd half it was for a 1st down. When the Bengals took the lead with 1 minute left I didn’t even care because I knew that was enough time for him to go down and score. Congrats on the win Cleveland, but I wouldn’t get too excited. Making it that close against the Bengals is not something I would be celebrating. It won’t be that easy for Baker again.

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