Wrap-up: Bengals 34, Browns 27
September, 16, 2012
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
Thoughts on the Cincinnati Bengals' 34-27 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.
What it means: The Bengals (1-1) rebounded from a disappointing season-opening loss to win their fourth straight in the Battle of Ohio. Unlike last year, the Bengals didn't need to come back in the fourth quarter. Cincinnati took the lead on Adam Jones' 81-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter and held off a rare solid effort by the Cleveland offense. This was the 11th straight loss in the AFC North for the Browns (0-2).
Bengals receivers step up: The stat sheet will say Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes. Take a closer look and you'll see how much Cincinnati's receivers delivered on those scores. There was a 10-yarder to A.J. Green, who ran through Dimitri Patterson's tackle; a 44-yarder to Brandon Tate, who got behind safety Eric Hagg; and a 50-yarder to Andrew Hawkins, who weaved through the Browns' defense after a short pass.
Impressed yet, Rey Maualuga? Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson played inspired with 109 yards rushing, 36 yards receiving and two touchdowns. This came after Maualuga described Richardson's debut last week as "nothing spectacular." His 23-yard touchdown catch-and-run, which featured several broken tackles, pulled the Browns to within 24-17 in the third quarter. Richardson became the first Browns rookie since Lee Suggs in the 2003 finale against the Bengals to go over 100 yards in a game.
Dalton shows toughness: Despite getting sacked six times, Dalton completed 24 of 31 passes for 318 yards. It marked the third 300-yard passing game of Dalton's career. The efforts by Dalton and Richardson overshadowed Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, who was 26-of-37 for 322 yards and two touchdowns.
What's next: The Browns return home to play the Buffalo Bills. The Bengals go back to the mid-Atlantic area for the second time in three weeks with a trip to the Washington Redskins.