First Quarter: Browns 3, Bengals 0

Browns run out to a 3-0 lead, and then run some more. Then, they mix it up with a run. But it works as the Bengals offense stumbles without Carson Palmer.

It's a pretty day in Cincinnati, with the sun out and 74 degrees with a slight wind in Cincy.

FIRST DRIVE (Bengals): The Bengals get the ball first as Glenn Holt runs the ball back to the 32 yard line. The Bengals go three-and-out, largely thanks to Shaun Rogers pushing Eric Ghiacuc back into the backfield on second down, causing Ryan Fitzpatrick to trip. After missing an open TJ Houshmanzahdeh on third and twelve, the Bengals punt.

SECOND DRIVE (Browns): The Browns then get the ball and start pounding it right at the Bengals run defense, as Rob Chudzinski adopts a "set up the run with the run" offensive scheme. They start off with seven successive running plays: Lewis for six, Lewis for 18 (plus fifteen for a horsecollar gackle on David Jones). Then it's Lewis for 8 yards, then six, then Jason Wright comes in and runs for 9 to make it second-and-one from the five.

At this point, the Bengals stiffen against the run, and Lewis gets –2 yards on the next two players, forcing Phil Dawson to kick at 25-yard field goal. BROWNS 3, BENGALS 0

THIRD DRIVE (Bengals): Another three-and-out as the Bengals can neither run or pass effectively with Carson Palmer out. Two runs to the right by Chris Perry get only five and then Fitzpatrick misses a well covered Chad Ocho Cinco Johnson Something. Boos are heard as the Bengals punt away from Cribbs, who scoops up the rolling ball and dashes for a quick three on the return. Browns ball at their own 28.

FOURTH DRIVE (Browns): Lewis to the left for two, and then DA throws his first pass, a quick out to Edwards for six. On third-down flare to Jerome Harrison bounces off the RB's fingers, but a defensive offside gives the Browns new lift at the 41 with a first down.

With the new set of downs, Chud calls a delay, which Lewis jukes for five yards. On second down, the Browns try a direct snap to Cribbs which is read well and gets nothing. On third down, DA has great protection, and hits Steptoe for seven as the announcers incorrect relay that Steptoe (or Sepko) is fresh off the practice squad. Sure fellas.

But there's another fresh set of downs at the Bengals 47. After another failed toss to Harrison, the Browns pitch to the young back, and he flies for 10 yards around left end. First down, but on the first play of the first set of downs, Cribbs is called for illegal motion, creating a first and 15 at the Bengals 42.

The Browns stall here… Lewis gets only two on first down, and DA throws a nice long pass to Kellen Winslow, but he's very well covered by Hall, who bats the ball away. On third and thirteen, DA has a lot of time, but can't hit Sanders. The Browns try a pooch punt by Dawson (downed by Robosnapper Ryan Pontbriand at the Bengals seven). 

FIFTH DRIVE (Bengals): The Browns start out by helping the Bengals out of their hole with an offsides call on Corey Williams. Perry gets three, but then McDonald blitzes and upends Perry for a loss of four, creating a third and six. Dropping to pass, Fitzpatrick gets pressure, but sees the middle of the field wide open and scambles for 12 and a first down.
With a first down at the 22, Fitzpatrick completes his first pass of the day, a 14-yard strike to Johnson.

The quarter ends with the Bengals down by three and with a first down at their own 36.


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