Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns

CIN
31
CLE
7
FINAL
1234T
CIN 02110031
CLE 00077

Game Information
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium Cleveland, Ohio
Attendance: 67,431

CLEVELAND (AP) Lost for three weeks, Andy Dalton and the Bengals finally found their footing in a familiar place.

All it took was a trip to the shores of Lake Erie.

Dalton threw three of his four touchdown passes in the first half and Cincinnati's offense found the perfect opponent to work out some early season struggles as the Bengals rolled to a 31-7 win Sunday over the overmatched Browns.

Dalton only missed on one throw in the first half, going 17 of 18 for 215 yards as the Bengals (1-3) built a 21-0 lead, cleared out FirstEnergy Stadium and won their sixth in a row over their in-state rival.

"This was the next one on the schedule and we wanted to do whatever we could to get a win," said Dalton, who completed 16 straight passes in one stretch. "We needed it. There's one."

Cincinnati has won its past four games in Cleveland by a combined 121-20.

Entering as the NFL's No. 30 ranked quarterback, Dalton connected with A.J. Green, Tyler Croft and Giovani Bernard in the first half while dissecting the young Browns (0-4), who were again plagued by mistakes and were down three defensive starters.

Dalton finished 25 of 30 for 286 yards. His second TD to Croft in the third quarter made it 31-0, and sent even some of the most die-hard Browns fans toward the exits.

The performance continued a stunning turnaround for Dalton, who didn't throw a TD pass and had four interceptions in his first two games. In the past two weeks, he has six TDs and no picks.

This was the breakthrough the Bengals were looking for after a sluggish start, which included coach Marvin Lewis firing offensive coordinator Ken Zampese after the offense failed to score a TD in its first two games.

But after a solid performance last week with Bill Lazor calling plays in an overtime loss at Green Bay, the Bengals broke free against the Browns.

Everybody does.

Cleveland fell to 1-19 in two seasons under coach Hue Jackson, who has been handed the league's youngest roster and is trying to break in rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer without many weapons.

The Browns are hurting themselves with unforced errors, but they're also regressing since a 21-18 loss to Pittsburgh in Week 1.

"I am not going to let this team go backward," Jackson said. "We did today. There is no question about that. We have some work to do. I think to a man in there, we will go back to work. We will put our heads down and get better."

Following the game, Jackson embraced his former boss, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, who was asked what he told his good friend.

"Don't let them quit on you," Lewis said.

The Browns were again without top pick Myles Garrett. The rookie pass rusher returned to practice Thursday and didn't report any problems, but the Browns are being cautious and will delay his regular-season debut at least one more week. They were also missing starting outside linebacker Jamie Collins (concussion) and massive tackle Danny Shelton (calf).

Dalton dominated the rest of Cleveland's defense.

Already up by two TDs, the Bengals got the ball back with 1:40 left in the first half and appeared content to play it safe and maybe get into field-goal position.

But the Browns blitzed and Dalton alertly dumped the ball into the right flat to the speedy Bernard. With a convoy of blockers in front of him, Bernard streaked untouched to the end zone for a 61-yard touchdown.

BURFICT FIT

Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict returned from his three-game suspension, giving Cincinnati's defense some pop - literally. Burfict made his presence known with his typical hits and he was also flagged for roughing Kizer in the fourth quarter, a shot that will likely earn him more league discipline.

ROOKIE ROCKED

Kizer was only sacked once after being dropped 10 times in the first three games, but he absorbed some punishment while going 16 of 34 for 118 yards.

"Those guys are big," he said. "You are going to feel every hit you take. Got out of there with no bumps and bruises."

SHOCKING TURN-AROUND

Since winning in Cincinnati on Nov. 6, 2014 to improve to 6-3, the Browns are 4-38.

ALL ALONE

The Browns remain the only team in the league not to lead at any point through four games. They had an early chance after Emmanuel Ogbah's strip sack of Dalton on Cincinnati's first possession.

But Cleveland didn't gain a yard in three plays and rookie Zane Gonzalez missed a 48-yard field goal.

PACMAN DELIVERS

Adam "Pacman" Jones, who turned 34 on Saturday, helped set up Cincinnati's first touchdown with a 40-yard punt return.

INJURIES

Bengals: H-back Ryan Hewitt injured his knee in the first half and didn't return. C T.J. Johnson also went out with a neck injury.

Browns: WR Jordan Leslie (hamstring), LB Dominique Alexander (knee).

UP NEXT

Bengals: Host Buffalo.

Browns: Host the New York Jets, led by former Cleveland quarterback Josh McCown.

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For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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1st Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Bengals Browns
No scoring this quarter.

2nd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Bengals Browns
14:56 A.J. Green 7 yd pass from Andy Dalton (Randy Bullock kick) 7 0
02:33 Tyler Kroft 3 yd pass from Andy Dalton (Randy Bullock kick) 14 0
00:47 Giovani Bernard 61 yd pass from Andy Dalton (Randy Bullock kick) 21 0

3rd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Bengals Browns
11:28 Randy Bullock 41 yd FG 24 0
03:37 Tyler Kroft 16 yd pass from Andy Dalton (Randy Bullock kick) 31 0

4th Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Bengals Browns
01:54 Duke Johnson Jr. 1 yd run (Zane Gonzalez kick) 31 7

Team Stats
  Cincinnati Cleveland
1st Downs 25 16
Total Yards 350 215
Passing 264 170
Passing Completions/Attempts 25-30 21-42
Yards/Pass 8.0 3.9
Rushing 86 45
Rushing Attempts 30 17
Yards/Rush 2.9 2.6
Turnovers 1 1
Fumbles Lost 1 0
Interceptions Thrown 0 1
Possession 35:02 24:58

Cincinnati Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Andy Dalton 25 30 286 9.5 4 0

Cleveland Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
DeShone Kizer 16 34 118 3.5 0 1
Kevin Hogan 5 8 65 8.1 0 0

Cincinnati Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Joe Mixon 17 29 1.7 0 10
Andy Dalton 4 29 7.2 0 12
Jeremy Hill 6 16 2.7 0 13
Giovani Bernard 3 12 4.0 0 6

Cleveland Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Isaiah Crowell 7 20 2.9 0 14
Duke Johnson Jr. 4 13 3.2 1 9
DeShone Kizer 5 10 2.0 0 4
Matthew Dayes 1 2 2.0 0 2

Cincinnati Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Tyler Kroft 6 68 11.3 2 21
Giovani Bernard 3 67 22.3 1 61
A.J. Green 5 63 12.6 1 25
Joe Mixon 4 19 4.8 0 10
Brandon LaFell 2 17 8.5 0 9
Ryan Hewitt 1 16 16.0 0 16
Tyler Boyd 2 15 7.5 0 9
C.J. Uzomah 1 11 11.0 0 11
Jeremy Hill 1 10 10.0 0 10

Cleveland Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Ricardo Louis 5 64 12.8 0 31
Kenny Britt 3 52 17.3 0 26
Duke Johnson Jr. 9 47 5.2 0 9
David Njoku 2 11 5.5 0 8
Isaiah Crowell 1 7 7.0 0 7
Seth DeValve 1 2 2.0 0 2
Rashard Higgins 0 0 0.0 0
Kasen Williams 0 0 0.0 0

Cincinnati Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Nick Vigil 7 4 1 7
KeiVarae Russell 5 0 0 0
Vontaze Burfict 4 2 0 0
Darqueze Dennard 3 1 1 6
Carlos Dunlap 2 1 0 0
Dre Kirkpatrick 2 1 0 0
Shawn Williams 2 0 0 0
Geno Atkins 1 0 0 0
George Iloka 1 0 0 0
William Jackson 1 0 0 0
Michael Johnson 1 1 0 0
Josh Shaw 1 1 0 0
Chris Smith 1 0 0 0
Jordan Willis 1 1 0 0
Clint Boling 0 0 0 0
Clayton Fejedelem 0 0 0 0
Adam Jones 0 1 0 0
Carl Lawson 0 0 0 0
Vincent Rey 0 1 0 0
C.J. Uzomah 0 0 0 0

Cleveland Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Jason McCourty 7 0 0 0
Emmanuel Ogbah 4 2 1 11
Christian Kirksey 4 4 0 0
Joe Schobert 4 7 0 0
Jamar Taylor 3 3 0 0
Caleb Brantley 2 0 1 7
Trevon Coley 2 2 1 4
Briean Boddy-Calhoun 2 1 0 0
James Burgess 2 3 0 0
Carl Nassib 2 0 0 0
Nate Orchard 2 1 0 0
Jabrill Peppers 2 2 0 0
Mike Jordan 1 0 0 0
Derrick Kindred 1 1 0 0
Jamie Meder 1 2 0 0
Larry Ogunjobi 1 2 0 0
Seth DeValve 0 0 0 0
Duke Johnson Jr. 0 0 0 0
Danny Vitale 0 0 0 0

Cincinnati Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
Clayton Fejedelem 1 5 0

Cleveland Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

Cincinnati Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Giovani Bernard 1 7 7.0 0 7

Cleveland Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Jabrill Peppers 5 116 23.2 0 29

Cincinnati Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Adam Jones 1 40 40.0 0 40
Alex Erickson 5 33 6.6 0 14

Cleveland Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Jabrill Peppers 3 4 1.3 0 7

Cincinnati Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Randy Bullock 1 1 100.0 41

Cleveland Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Zane Gonzalez 0 1 0.0

Cincinnati Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Kevin Huber 4 191 56

Cleveland Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Britton Colquitt 6 295 53