CINCINNATI—The Browns are beginning to be the tonic for two-win teams.
After losing to the two-win Bills last week, the Bengals snapped their 10-game losing streak with a 19-17 victory over the Browns in front of 56,342 fans at Paul Brown Stadium. The Browns dropped to 5-9.
The Browns started strong as they scored a touchdown on the first drive. After that, the Browns offense was for the most part, ineffective.
They scored a touchdown on a 46-yard pass from Colt McCoy to Brian Robiskie with 2:13 to play to make it 19-17. However, with two timeouts and the two-minute warning, the Browns elected to try the onside kick and were unsuccessful.
McCoy finished 19-of-25 for 243 yards and two touchdowns in his first game back from a high ankle sprain. He was sacked three times.
The Browns still had a chance to get the ball back late, but couldn't stop Benson as he picked up a first down on third-and-three and the Bengals were to kneel to end the game.
A key point in the game was when the Browns had the ball at the Bengals' five-yard line to start the fourth quarter, but were unable to convert on third-and-one and settled for a 23-yard field goal by Phil Dawson to make the score 16-10 at the time.
Near the end of the first half, the Browns had a chance to try a field goal from about 48 yards, but a sack by Carlos Dunlap on McCoy moved the Browns back to the 39. A short pass to Robiskie moved the Browns to the 34, but the Browns elected to go for the first down with 16 seconds to play, rather than attempt the field goal.
However, after a false start by John St. Clair, the Browns punted.
The game started well as the Browns took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards for a touchdown as McCoy capped his first drive with a beautifully thrown 20-yard pass to Robert Royal and a 7-0 lead with 12:08 to play in the first quarter.
McCoy hit Ben Watson for 18 yards to the 43 and then a 17 yard pass to Robiskie moved the ball to the Bengals 38. After a near miss interception by Keith Rivers, Dhani Jones hit McCoy in the helmet drawing the personal foul to the 20. On the next play, McCoy hit a diving Royal in the back of the end zone. On the score, tackle John St. Clair was lined up wide on the right side and Joe Thomas was wide out to the left side.
The Bengals tied the game at 7-7 with 12:52 to play in the first half as Cedric Benson broke loose around left end for a 18-yard score. The Bengals moved 91 yards in 10 plays, taking 6:15 off the clock.
Carson Palmer hit Jerome Simpson for 15 yards to the 37 and then a six-yard pass to Andre Caldwell on third-and-3 moved the ball to the 50. A 12-yard run by Benson and a six-yard pass to Jermaine Gresham set up Benson's run.
After stopping the Browns, the Bengals moved the ball again and took the lead 10-7 on a 25-yard field goal by Stitser with 4:19 to play in the first half.
Palmer hit Ochocinco for 16 yards to the 43 and then a 12-yard pass to Quan Cosby moved the ball to the Browns' 46. A 21-yard pass to Ochocinco put the ball on the 12. Two short runs by Benson put the Bengals on the five, but an offensive pass interference penalty on Jermaine Gresham was refused by the Browns to set up the field goal. The Bengals had the ball for 7:27 and 13 plays as they moved 68 yards.
The Browns moved into field goal position to the Bengals' 31 near halftime, but McCoy was sacked by Carlos Dunlap back to the 39. After a pass to Robiskie to the 34, the Browns elected to not try the field goal and tried to go for the first down, but a penalty on each team forced second try. However, after St. Clair had a false start, the Browns punted.
The Bengals extended their lead to 13-7 on their first possession of the second half as Stitser hit a 39-yard field with 11:11 to play in the third quarter. Palmer hit Caldwell for 21 yards to midfield to get the drive going and then a 20 yard pass to Brian Leonard on third-and-7 moved the ball to the 26. Two runs by Benson and an incomplete pass set up the field goal.
The Bengals stopped the Browns again and a steady dose of Benson helped the Bengals pad their lead to 16-7 with 3:33 to play in the third quarter as Stitser kicked his third field goal, this one from 34 yards out. Benson carried the ball eight times for 37 yards on the drive and went over 100 yards in the game on the drive.
Benson ran the ball eight-straight times to the Browns' 16, before Palmer threw an incomplete pass to set up the field goal.
The Browns cut the lead to 16-10 with 14:06 to play in the game as Dawson kicked a 23-yard field goal. The Browns moved to the Bengals' five and were faced with third-and-one, but Peyton Hillis was stopped for no gain and the Browns settled for the field goal.
The Browns started the drive with an 11-yard pass to Mohamed Massaquoi to the 45 and then an 18-yard pass to Hillis to the Bengals' 34. Two plays later, McCoy hit Watson for 18 yards to the 14. Two runs by Hillis put the Browns at third-and-one at the five, but the Bengals held and forced the field goal.
After forcing the Browns to settle for the field goal, the Bengals answered with Stitser's fourth field goal, from 20 yards to make it 19-10 with 9:58 to play. The big play was a screen to Caldwell for 53 yards to the Browns' 20. The Bengals went nine plays for 77 yards, taking 4:08 off the clock.
The Browns started on their own 12 after the field goal, and McCoy hit Robiskie for a 46-yard touchdown with 2:13 to play to make it 19-17. Keiwan Ratliff tried to intercept the pass, but missed. McCoy hit Watson for 15-, 4- and 24-yard completions to the Bengals' 46 before the touchdown.
The Browns had two timeouts and the two-minute warning, but went for the onside kick but were unsuccessful and the Bengals started at the Browns' 44. The Bengals had a third-and-three on the 37 and Benson picked up four yards to seal the victory.
The Browns exhausted their timeouts and the Bengals ran out the clock.
Colt's Day: In his first action after being sidelined for three games with a sprained ankle, McCoy was 11 –of-16 for 108 yards in the first half with a touchdown. He finished 19-of-25 for 243 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked three times. He led the Browns down the field for a touchdown on his first possession and threw a 20-yard pass to TE Robert Royal for the score. He threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to WR Brian Robiskie with 2:13 to play.
Robo's Best: WR Brian Robiskie had his biggest day in terms of yardage as he caught five passes for 82 yards and his first NFL touchdown in the fourth quarter from 46 yards out.
Big Ben: TE Ben Watson had seven receptions for 92 yards.
Key on Peyton: RB Peyton HIllis was held to 59 yards on 14 carries. He caught two passes for 23 yards.
Wright Down: CB Eric Wright appeared to injure his left knee in the fourth quarter.
Creative Formation: On the Browns first touchdown, both tackles were lined up near the opposite sideline. RT John St. Clair was near the Browns' side line and LT Joe Thomas was near the Bengals' side line. The Browns used the formation near the end of the first half, but an offsetting penalties were called.
No Confidence Early: The Bengals were at the Browns' 28 and had a fourth-and-10 on their first possession, but elected to go for it rather than attempt a 45-yard field goal by K Clint Stitser, who is the third Bengals' kicker of the season. QB Carson Palmer threw an incomplete pass attempted to WR Jordan Shipley. Stitser ended up kicking four field goals.
Royal Catch: TE Robert Royal had just three receptions on the season and had two in the first half, including a 20-yard touchdown grab. He finished with two receptions for 29 yards.
TO Down: WR Terrell Owens injured his knee in the first quarter and did not return. Owens had 10 receptions for 222 yards and one touchdown in the team's first meeting of the season
Demetrius Sighting: WR Demetrius Williams was used often in passing formations after being inactive for most of his time with the Browns.
From One to Three: QB Jake Delhomme, who has started the last three games, was designated the third quarterback, meaning he can only play in the fourth quarter or if QB Colt McCoy or QB Seneca Wallace are injured. Earlier this week, Mangini said if McCoy wasn't able to play, Delhomme would start over Wallace.