The NFL’s Battle of Ohio on Halloween night was more than a little spooky. Monday Night Football pitted the Cleveland Browns against the Cincinnati Bengals, and there was nothing but tricks for QB Joe Burrow and his tigers.
Cleveland’s running game and an unstoppable Nick Chubb gave the Browns victory – again. The Browns laid out their attack with the running back, at the front, joined by Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson.
Chubb did most of the heavy lifting, accumulating 23 carries, 101 yards and two touchdowns. Against a team that couldn’t get on the board until the fourth quarter, the Browns proved to be too much, running over the Bengals 32-13.
Pressure on Burrow
The Browns took control from the beginning of the game, not allowing the Bengals to put up any points for the entire first half. By the time the whistle gave Cincinnati a welcome break at the end of the second quarter, Cleveland was already up 11-0.
Coming back onto the field after the break didn’t provide any relief for the Bengals. The Browns increased their lead to 14-0 in the third as they continued to rule the field.
Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who arrived at FirstEnergy Stadium in a Halloween costume, completed 17 of 22 passes for 278 yards and a touchdown. Cleveland’s defense, led by defensive end Myles Garrett, was relentless, forcing two turnovers and dominating the Bengals offense.
That isn’t to say the Browns didn’t make mistakes. There was a blocked 53-yard field goal in which the Bengals defensive tackle BJ Hill went over the left edge untouched on the Browns’ first drive.
There was also a Brissett sack that negated another drive inside Bengals territory. Then there was a poorly thrown pass by wide receiver Amari Cooper on a trick play that was easily intercepted by Cincinnati safety Vonn Bell on their second possession.
Bengals QB Joe Burrow finished with decent stats –25 of 35 for 232 yards and 2 TDs. But, he will have nightmares starring the Browns’ defense after being sacked five times and taking seven other hits off the ball.
Delivering those sacks were Garrett, defensive end Isaiah Thomas, linebackers Sione Takitaki and Deion Jones and defensive tackle Taven Bryan. In other words, the Bengals line completely fell apart.
In addition, cornerback A.J. Green picked him off, possibly foreboding what was to come. That interception occurred on the Bengals’ first drive of the game.
Browns Too Much For the Bengals
The Browns broke a four-game losing streak in a game that had every indication of going to the Bengals. The win was their eighth victory in their last nine meetings against their in-state rivals. It was also the team’s fifth straight series victory, extending his longest winning streak against Cincinnati.
As the underdogs, the Browns gave moneyline backers some extra cash for the holidays. However, with most sportsbooks putting up 45 on the over/under, there was no money to be made on the total.
Burrow still hasn’t beaten the Browns, although he’s tried several times since 2020. He can try again when these two meet on December 11. In the meantime, he and the rest of the crew have to get ready to face another soft kitty – the Carolina Panthers – this Sunday.
The Browns followed the perfect formula to improve to 5-3 heading into their bye week. They can spend this time healing and teaching Cooper how not to throw interceptions. When Cleveland returns, they will face the Miami Dolphins.
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