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Cleveland Browns defeat Cincinnati Bengals, 35-30

Cincinnati Enquirer logo Cincinnati Enquirer 9/18/2020 Charlie Goldsmith, Cincinnati Enquirer
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FOURTH QUARTER UPDATES

11:22 left in fourth quarter: Cleveland 28, Bengals 16.

Browns running back Nick Chubb is up to 94 rushing yards, and a pivotal strip from Browns defensive end Myles Garrett stopped the Bengals only drive that could have tied the score.

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Two touchdowns from Cleveland's running backs have given the Browns a 12-point lead.

HALFTIME

Browns 21, Bengals 13

Baker Mayfield and Joe Burrow both played like top NFL Draft picks during the first half.

Six of the nine drives in the first half ended with a score, and the Bengals allowed more points in the first half to the Browns than they allowed in four quarters against the Los Angeles Chargers last week.

Burrow closed the half with a 12-play, 55-yard drive that ended with a field goal from Randy Bullock. Burrow played his best half of the season, but the Bengals defense couldn’t stop Mayfield.

Cincinnati only stopped Mayfield and the Browns once, and the 2018 draft’s top pick threw for 167 yards in the first half. He found wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. early in the second quarter for a 43-yard touchdown to take a double-digit lead early, but Burrow responded to keep Cincinnati in the game at halftime.

On the next series, Burrow threw the first touchdown pass of his career –– a 23-yard deep ball to tight end C.J. Uzomah –– and the rookie finished with 169 passing yards and a 64.3 completion percentage.

Sep 17, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Adrian Clayborn (94) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. © Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Adrian Clayborn (94) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Running back Joe Mixon led the Bengals with 40 receiving yards and 26 rushing yards, but Cleveland had 65 rushing yards in the first half against the Bengals’ injury riddled defensive line.

On the Browns last drive of the half, Mayfield ended the second quarter with a six-yard touchdown pass to running back Kareem Hunt, who was left wide open by Cincinnati’s defense. The Browns took an eight-point lead into the locker room.

SECOND QUARTER UPDATES

9:00 left in the second quarter: Browns 14, Bengals 10.

Last week, Joe Burrow was 0-5 on deep passes, and he missed tight end C.J. Uzomah on the first deep attempt of Burrow's career.

Burrow connected with Uzomah for a lo reception in the second quarter Thursday, and the rookie threw his first NFL touchdown.

Uzomah ran outside and Burrow lofted a ball to the left sideline for a 23-yard touchdown pass.

After the Browns' made two touchdown drives look easy to start the game, Burrow responded and cut the Bengals deficit back to one possession.

12:02 left in the second quarter: Browns 14, Bengals 3.

The Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. only had three catches for 22 yards in Cleveland's season opener. Beckham eclipsed that mark in one play on Thursday.

On first-and-ten from Cincinnati's 43-yard-line, Beckham Jr. juked past Bengals cornerback William Jackson III and sprinted down the left sideline. Baker Mayfield found Beckham Jr. on the deep route for a 43-yard touchdown.

It was Beckham Jr.'s longest touchdown reception since Sept. 2019.

FIRST QUARTER UPDATES

1:48 left in first quarter: Browns 7, Bengals 3.

Baker Mayfield completed his first four passes of the game, including a 26-yard pass to wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge, to get the Browns into the redzone in just eight plays.

Running back Nick Chubb ran for an 11-yard touchdown, and Bengals safety Jessie Bates III missed a tackle on the touchdown run.

7:17 left in the first quarter: Bengals 3, Browns 0

Last Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, Joe Burrow threw 16 passes before he attempted a deep ball. Against the Browns, Burrow attempted a 35-yard pass to A.J. Green right out of the gate. The pass was initially ruled complete but was overturned following a replay review.

Burrow stayed aggressive throughout the scoring drive and completed an 11-yard pass to Tyler Boyd on the next play, and he ran for a first down later in the series.

Burrow kept the momentum from Sunday’s near game winning drive in the last two minutes, and the Bengals scored first with a 38-yard field goal from Randy Bullock.

PREGAME UPDATES

  • The Bengals named seven inactive players on Thursday night: RB Trayveon Williams, WR Auden Tate, DT Geno Atkins, DT Mike Daniels,  LB Markus Bailey, S Shaun Williams and K Austin Seibert.
  • The Browns named six inactive players: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, CB Greedy Williams, CB Kevin Johnson, LB Jacob Phillips, LB Mack Wilson and DE Olivier Vernon.
  • Fred Johnson will replace Billy Price at right guard for the Bengals, replacing the injured Xavier Su'a-Filo.
  • Atkins will miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury, and the eight-time Pro Bowl player will miss the ninth game of his 11-year career. 
  • Daniels is also out with a groin injury, so Cincinnati will start DT Christian Covington, alongside D.J. Reader.
  • Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry is active and despite being limited in practice this week. The five-time Pro Bowler had five receptions for 61 yards in Cleveland's opener.
  • The Browns will be missing 3 starters –– Williams, Wilson and Vernon. Three of the Browns' starting offensive linemen were questionable for this week, but RT Jack Conklin, LT Jedrick Wills Jr. and C JC Tretter all are active.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Cleveland Browns defeat Cincinnati Bengals, 35-30

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