Browns fall to Bengals 23-10

364 days….and come Tuesday, it’ll be a full calendar year.

The Cleveland Browns lost their franchise record extending sixteenth consecutive loss Sunday as they fell 23-10 to the Cincinnati Bengals. The wintry conditions along Lake Erie didn’t help the Browns chances to win their first game of the season as they move closer to football purgatory.

Robert Griffin III made his return but he looked like a guy who’s only played one game of football since the end of 2014. He was inconsistent and trying too hard to make plays with his legs instead of his arm. If he continues to perform like that during the remainder of the season, I wouldn’t expect him to return next season.

Griffin finished the game 12 of 28 for 104 yards and an interception. He also had 31 yards on seven carries and the lone touchdown for Cleveland. 

The lone positive of Griffin being back on the field was that the running game had a rebirth. Isaiah Crowell had his third 100 yard game of the season with 113 yards on ten carries. Duke Johnson added 24 yards on four carries and also caught a pass for 21 yards. 

Gary Barnidge led the way in receiving for the Browns with 27 yards on three catches. Corey Coleman had 26 yards on three catches while Terrelle Pryor was only targeted three times and had just one catch for three yards.

Hue Jackson’s play calling this season goes away from the running game when it’s working and it showed up again today, I understand you want to see what Griffin has at quarterback but if something’s working, keep attacking the defense until they figure out how to stop it.

The Browns pass rush finally showed up against the Bengals offense. Jamie Collins racked up a sack and two tackles for a loss to go along with his team leading 15 tackles. Second round pick Emmanuel Ogbah had 1.5 sacks and three QB hits as he continues to show improvement after moving to defensive end. Cam Johnson and Stephen Paea also recorded sacks as the Browns had their season high with four sacks.

As for the Bengals it was business as usually offensively against the Browns defense. Andy Dalton threw two touchdowns and didn’t commit any turnovers. Jeremy Hill led the running attack as they went over 200 yards rushing against the Browns in both games this season. Hill racked up 111 yards and a touchdown, Rex Burkhead had 45, wide receiver Tyler Boyd had 40 and Dalton had 17 on the ground.

Boyd led the way for the receiving with six catches for 49 yards. Tight end Tyler Eifert had both of Dalton’s touchdowns to go along with his five catches for 48 yards. 

Karlos Dansby in his first return to the Dawg Pound after being cut by Cleveland had 12 tackles and one of three sacks on a Robert Griffin III. Geno Atkins got the other two sacks and had four QB hits on Griffin.

The Browns will travel to Buffalo next week as they keep trying to avoid the winless season. 

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