CINCINNATI — Joe Burrow has finally figured out how to win the Ohio battle.
With their 23-10 victory over the Browns, the Bengals effectively dashed the Browns’ wavering playoff hopes – although at 5-8 they were yet to be mathematically eliminated.
The Bengals, in winning their fifth straight game, improved to 9-4 and snapped a five-game losing streak against the Browns. They had also lost eight of their last nine to the Browns, and Burrow couldn’t get the Browns monkey off his back.
He’s 3-0 against the Chiefs but couldn’t get past Myles Garrett and Browns. That all changed on Sunday, despite Burrow being without three of his best weapons in tight end Hayden Hurst, Tee Higgins (hamstring) and Tyer Boyd (finger).
But Ja’Marr Chase, who missed the Browns’ 32-13 victory on Halloween night, caught 10 of 15 targets for 119 yards and a touchdown.
Burrow went 18 of 33 for 239 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 INT for an 85.3 rating.
Deshaun Watson, just his second game after 700 days off, went 26 of 42 for 276 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT for a rating of 79.1.
Nick Chubb rushed 14 times for just 34 yards.
The Browns’ next opponent, the Ravens, beat the Steelers to move to 9-4 and maintain their advantage in the AFC North, but Lamar Jackson (knee) could still rest next Saturday.
Leading 23-10, Watson was intercepted by safety Jessie Bates III on a pass intended for Donovan Peoples-Jones with 13:39 left in the game and the Bengals in field goal territory. But after moving to the Browns 31, the Browns had an interception from them to stay in the game.
Jadeveon Clowney tipped the pass and Deion Jones recovered it. Unfortunately for the Browns, they couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity. They marched to the Bengals’ 6, but Watson threw three straight incompletes, including one to Amari Cooper in the back of the end zone and one to Donovan Peoples-Jones in the left corner when Cam Taylor-Britt broke the pass.
The Bengals extended their lead to 20-3 on a flicker of chips that caught the Browns defense off guard. Burrow handed the ball to Joe Mixon, who fed it back to Burrow, who found receiver Trenton Irwin wide open in midfield for a 45-yard touchdown.
Safeties Grant Delpit and most of the other Browns bit on the run, and Irwin had no defenders within 15 yards of him.
But the Browns responded to the flicker of chips with their own touchdown – a 13-yarder from David Njoku, which dove towards the pylon. Practice ended with three consecutive assists for Njoku, who had missed three of the last four games due to injury. He scored Watson’s first touchdown pass
The Browns, who trailed 13-3 at halftime, had won the toss and postponed, but made three outs in their first practice following an instant offense by center Hjalte Froholdt at the third try. Watson was sacked on fourth down for missing an opportunity to close the gap.
The Bengals forged their 13-3 at halftime on a 15-yard TD pass to Chase and a 6-yard run from Samaje Perine, after which Evan McPherson pushed the extra run right. The Browns scored on a 26-yard field goal from Cade York.
The Bengals took a 7-0 lead with 9:43 left in the half on a sensational 15-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to Chase between Denzel Ward and John Johnson III on a post road in the box area. goals. Burrow threaded the ball so well that even Chase looked like he didn’t know he was coming.
The Browns shot themselves in the foot several times on the disc, with a total of 58 penalty yards. In total, they have seven penalties for 83 yards in the first half.
The first of those was a 15-yard hard-hitting penalty against linebacker Tony Fields II, which was the star of last week’s 27-14 win over the Texans. Isaiah Thomas followed with an illegal hand to the face, then Ward was flagged 33 yards out for pass interference on the left sideline against Chase at the Browns’ 30. Burrow climbed 8 yards up the middle to convert a third-and-3, then made the spectacular throw to Chase.
The Browns responded with a 26-yard field goal that made it 7-3 with 2:59 left in the half after DJ Reader crushed Watson’s third pass from the 8 to the line to get York out. The key play on the 13-yard run was a 24-yard pass to Cooper.
Cincinnati extended its lead to 13-3 with 24 seconds left in the half on a 6-yard run from Perine, which bounced it to the right. McPherson missed the extra point after also missing one in the 32-13 loss at Cleveland. It was his third missed PAT of the season.
The half ended with Watson Hail Mary in the end zone falling incomplete.
The Browns’ defense, tasked with supporting this game, forced a three-and-out on the Bengals’ first drive.
Watson took over at his 24 and walked to the Bengals’ 25, where Kareem Hunt was stuffed at third-and-1. At fourth-and-1, Jacoby Brissett came into the game and knocked Peoples-Jones down the right side from the end zone to turn. the ball on the downs. Luckily for the Browns, the defense held again, forcing Cincy to kick from home territory.
In the first half, Burrow, who was without three of his best weapons, completed 9 of 21 attempts for 110 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions for 75.5 odds.
Next: The Browns host the Ravens on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
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