It was a big test for the Browns as they traveled to
Could they rebound from a dismal opening day loss to the Saints?
The answer was a resounding NO, as the Bengals improved to 2-0 with a 34-17 whipping of the Browns. The Browns dropped to 0-2.
The Browns continued their poor offensive showing. The Browns field goal came after an interception at the Bengals' 17.
And the Browns defense wasn't very good either as the Bengals totaled nearly 500 yards (481 to be exact) in offense.
Meanwhile, the Bengals came out of the gate and put up 175 yards of offense in the first quarter in building a 14-3 lead. The Browns didn't stop the Bengals as they scored touchdowns on two of their first three possessions. The only time they were stopped was when their receiver couldn't catch a pass and it was tipped to Browns linebacker Andra Davis.
The Bengals took the opening kickoff and Carson Palmer threw passes on the first two plays and found gaping holes in the Browns defense. Then, they turned to Rudi Johnson on the ground before Palmer hit Kelly Washington for a 22-yard touchdown. It only took the Bengals five plays to cover 75 yards and just like that the Browns were down 7-0. The Bengals employed the no-huddle to not allow the Browns to substitute. Palmer had over 300 yards before the end of the third quarter and finished with 352 yards on 24-of-40 with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Meanwhile, the Browns tried to do what they failed to do against the Saints. They ran the ball with Reuben Droughns on the first three plays and after gaining nine yards had to punt.
On the first play from scrimmage Palmer threw a pass that was tipped by Reggie Kelly and Andra Davis intercepted the ball on the Bengals' 17. Once again, the Browns gave the ball to Droughns on the first two plays of the drive and finally threw a pass on third-and-six and after the incompletion by Charlie Frye, they settled for a 30-yard field goal by Phil Dawson to make it 7-3.
After the Browns score, the Bengals were flagged for two penalties and started at their own four. However, behind the running of Rudi Johnson, the Bengals were able to get out of the hole and move the length of the field for the score as Palmer hit Chad Johnson for the score to make it 14-3 with 3:09 to play in the first quarter.
The Browns didn't get their first first down until less than two minutes remained in the first quarter when Frye hit Droughns in the flat for a 24-yard gain.
The Browns couldn't stop the Bengals on third down as the Bengals converted on their first five third down situations. The Browns had little pressure on Palmer until Chaun Thompson was able to sack Palmer in the second quarter. The Browns finished with four sacks. Kamerion Wimbley registered his first career sack, while Brodney Pool and Matt Stewart had the others.
Shayne Graham missed a 44-yard field goal in the second quarter, which was his first miss in 18 attempts. Graham connected as time expired at the half to give the Bengals a 17-3 lead after the Browns turned the ball over on a Frye's interception. Graham added his third field goal, early in the fourth quarter to make it 20-3.
The Browns didn't get their offense going until midway through the third quarter as Frye hit Braylon Edwards for a 24-yard gain. After a run by Droughns pushed the ball to the Bengals' 35, Brian Simmons blitzed and caused a fumble on the exchange between Frye and Droughns and the Bengals took over.
Frye hit Edwards for 75 yards immediately after the Bengals went up 20-3. Edwards beat Tory James and Frye hit him in stride and dragged the tackler to the one before going down. Droughns took it in from the one to make it 20-10 with 13:06 to play.
Once the Browns scored, the Bengals answered as they moved the ball led by Rudi Johnson to make it 27-10. Johnson capped the 80-yard drive with a one-yard score. He finished with 145 yards and two touchdowns.
The second touchdown made it 34-10 after Frye had a ball go off Droughns' hands and the Bengals had it in Browns' territory.
Frye ran in on a bootleg in garbage time with just 58 seconds to play to make the final 34-17.
Third Down Blues: The Browns had trouble all day stopping the Bengals on third down. The Bengals were 8-of-15 on third down, while the Browns were just 2-of-10. The Saints were 50 percent on third down in the first game.
Sorry Charlie: QB Charlie Frye was intercepted prior to the end of the first half on a tipped pass at the line. The interception led to another Bengals score as Graham booted a 37–yard field goal to give them a 17-3 lead at the half. Frye fumbled a ball in the third quarter. His second interception came as a result of Droughns having a ball go off his hands. Frye was also the victim of several drops by receivers. Edwards dropped at least three balls that should've been caught. Frye finished 20-of-33 for 244 yards with two touchdowns. He rushed for 10 yards, including a touchdown.
Reuben Run: RB Reuben Droughns carried the ball 14 times for 32 yards, including one touchdown.
Turnaround: After getting sacked five times a week ago, Frye was not sacked. Meanwhile, the Browns had no sacks against the Saints but had four against the Bengals.
Big Braylon: Despite having a few drops, Edwards caught three passes for 103 yards, including the 75 yard bomb.
Pickoff Man: CB Leigh Bodden had his first interception of the season. He and Andra Davis had the two thefts.
Where's Willie: LB Willie McGinest suited up but did not play. Rookie LB Kamerion Wimbley started in his place.
Solid Zastudil: Reminiscent of the days of P Chris Gardocki with the Browns, P Dave Zastudil was the Browns MVP for most of the game as he pinned them back, including one punt that went out of bounds at the one. However, the Browns defense continually couldn't stop the Bengals when necessary.
Few Penalties: The Browns committed no penalties in the first half. The Browns first penalty was with 3:12 to play in the third quarter when Josh Cribbs interfered with the punt returner inside the 10 yard line for a 15-yard penalty.