1:00 p.m. ET
Key Coaching Decision #1: (CIN ball, leading 7-0 / fourth-and-1, CLE 47 / 5:16 Q1)
• The Bengals faced a fourth-down conversion situation to keep their first drive of the game alive. This would have been too long of a field goal attempt. Punting would likely have pinned the Browns back, but after the Browns’ first drive was a lengthy one that resulted in a touchdown, the Bengals defense needed to stay off the field. Extending the drive here made sense.
• On fourth down, Andy Dalton completed a 12-yard pass to Joe Mixon. The drive ended at the Browns’ 36-yard line and their 54-yard field goal attempt was blocked. This blocked kick gave the Browns all the momentum in the contest.
Key Coaching Decision #2 and 3:
(CLE ball, leading 14-0 / third-and-3, CLE 11 / 14:20 Q2) and
(CLE ball, leading 14-0 / third-and-1, CLE 49 / 10:57 Q2)
• In crucial third-down situations, the Browns were not afraid to let their rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield throw the ball downfield. Two examples of this occurred in the second quarter when two third-down conversions extended the Browns’ drive. The Browns drive led to another touchdown to give Cleveland a 21-point advantage and effectively ended the Bengals’ chances in the game.
• On third-and-3 from their own 11, and after a seven-yard gain by Nick Chubb on second down, Mayfield completes a 9-yard pass to Jarvis Landry to extend the drive. Chubb had been running well and conventional thought would suggest the Browns would again run the ball. They didn’t. The drive continued.
• #3- On third-and-1, and after two consecutive Chubb runs, Mayfield finds tight end David Njoku for a 24-yard gain. The Bengals were also expecting a run here and the Browns again threw.
• The Browns were coming off a bye week. ‘
• Cleveland went up against former Browns head coach Hue Jackson, who was hired to help with the defense. The Browns victory ended the Bengals’ seven-game winning streak in the series. It also ended the Browns’ streak of 25 road losses. The Bengals started the season hot and looked like a playoff team but now have lost five of their last six games with no answers to their defensive woes on the horizon.
• Bengals WR A.J. Green missed action due to a toe injury.
• Andy Dalton missed part of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter as he hurt the thumb on his throwing hand. Jeff Driskel finished the game for the Bengals. Driskel finished 17-of-29 for 155 yards and one touchdown.
• Mayfield completed 19 passes in 26 attempts for 258 yards and four touchdowns and was not sacked. Nick Chubb carried the ball 23 times for 84 yards and 1 TD and had 3 catches for 44 yards and a TD.
• The Browns scored touchdowns on all four of their meaningful possessions in the first half (the fifth possession was at the end of the half and began with the Browns only having 32 seconds on the clock).