Sunday, November 27, 2011
Wrap-up: Bengals 23, Browns 20
By Jamison Hensley
Thoughts on the Cincinnati Bengals' 23-20 win over the Cleveland Browns:
What it means: The Bengals (7-4) remained in the thick of the playoff hunt with their fourth fourth-quarter comeback of the season. After not leading for the first 59 minutes of the game, Cincinnati won the game on Mike Nugent's 26-yard field goal with 38 seconds remaining. The Bengals rebounded from a two-game losing streak by scoring the final 13 points against Cleveland. The Browns (4-7) lost their eighth straight AFC North road game.
Key play: The decisive moment in this hard-fought game was A.J. Green's 51-yard leaping catch-and-run over the middle that put the Bengals inside the Browns' 10 with one minute left. It came against Joe Haden, the AFC North's best cornerback, and converted a third-and-8. This led to Nugent's short game winner. Green finished with 110 yards on three catches.
Benson bashes Browns: Benson continued his success against the Browns and became the latest running back to gain more than 100 yards against them. He finished with 130 total yards, gaining most of them on the left side. His 16-yard touchdown run tied the game at 7 in the first quarter.
Bad snap ... again: The Browns missed their opportunity to break the tie with 1:51 left in the game, but Ryan Pontbriand's bad snap caused Phil Dawson's 55-yard field goal attempt to fall short. It was Pontbriand's bad snap two weeks ago that led to another missed go-ahead field goal in a 13-12 loss to St. Louis.
Browns' defense steps up in first half: Cleveland took a 17-7 halftime lead because of its defense. The Browns made a goal-line stand in the first quarter and forced Andy Dalton's first fumble of the season, which led to the Browns' second touchdown of the game. Jabaal Sheard forced the turnover.
Hillis returns: Browns running back Peyton Hillis ran hard in his first game back after missing five straight with a hamstring injury. He made a bigger impact than expected, rushing for 57 yards on 15 carries.
Browns end drought: Cleveland scored its first first-quarter touchdown when Colt McCoy hit Jordan Norwood for a 24-yard pass in the end zone.
What's next: The Bengals travel to Pittsburgh just a couple of weeks after losing to the Steelers at home. The Browns play host to the Ravens next Sunday.