CLEVELAND – Nick Chubb and the Cleveland Browns ran all over the Bengals on Monday Night Football and defeated Cincinnati 32-13 on Halloween at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Chubb scored on runs of three and 11 yards and rumbled to 101 yards on the ground on 23 totes, while quarterback Jacoby Brissett piled up 278 yards in the air with one touchdown in the lopsided AFC North Division win over the Bengals.
Cincinnati is 4-4 and 0-3 in the division, while Cleveland stands at 3-5 overall and 2-1 in the division.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who is 0-4 against the Browns for his career, was sacked five times and struggled to reach 232 yards passing.
He did add two touchdowns, one interception and one fumble in the loss.
“We’re not panicking,” Burrow said after the game. “We know what went wrong in each game. We have to go back and watch the film, make our corrections in this one like we always have, and come back out firing next week.”
Nothing went right for Cincinnati.
The Bengals gained 100 yards at the half and even consistent kicker Evan McPherson missed a 47-yard field goal attempt before intermission, and an extra point attempt in the fourth quarter.
“It’s really easy to be quite honest with you,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said after the game about the loss. “It was 8-0 there late in the second quarter. We miss a field goal. They go down and kick a field goal into the half. There are three points — 11-0. They get the ball first. They score seven so there’s 18-0. We got three and out and they score again. Really, that’s where the game is 25-0 before you know it.”
The Browns ended a four-game losing skid and saved the season from slipping away — as they wait for quarterback DeShaun Watson to return from an 11-game suspension.
“This win is so big for us right now,” said Browns wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones. “It’s just a matter of believing in ourselves.”
Jones finished the game with 81 yards receiving on four catches, while Amari Cooper hauled in 131 yards on five receptions with one TD.
The Browns not only ended its four-game losing skid, but halted the Bengals’ defensive streak of not allowing a touchdown in the second half.
With 8:57 to go in the third quarter, Brissett dove into the end zone from four yards out to boost the lead to 18-0.
The Bengals not only left Cleveland with a loss, but they may have lost cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, who suffered a knee injury late in the first half.
“It’s not great,” Taylor said. “But nothing is confirmed. It’s tough. Chido is one of the hardest workers on the team. He’s a great man of character. He gives his heart and soul to this.”
Awuzie’s injury compounds the depleted secondary, which also played without Eli Apple, who is nursing a hamstring.
“Unbelievable,” Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard said. “(Awuzie) is an unbelievable player and I wish him all the best. We are going to miss him, and I don’t know what happened. I just saw him on crutches, and this is really tough.”
Cornerback Tre Flowers, who replaced Awuzie, limped off the field in the second half.
Cincinnati was also without offensive playmaker Ja’Marr Chase, who will be out four to six weeks with a hip injury.
“Any time that guy goes down, it is going to have an effect,” Burrow said about not having Chase on the field. “But we are a better offense that what we put out there tonight, even without him. There are no excuses for that.”
The Bengals have a short turnaround and host Carolina on Sunday.
“This is a 17-game season, and this is one game,” Taylor added. “We weren’t at our best today at any phase. I’m confident that’s not who we are, but we can make the corrections and flush this one away quickly, turn our attention to Carolina on the six-day week. We have a great opportunity to get this out of our system quickly and play Sunday.”
© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved