CINCINNATI - The Browns fell 33-23 to the Bengals on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium after their defense failed to limit running back Joe Mixon from big runs and costly touchdowns in the season finale.
Cleveland will end the season 6-10 and head into the offseason with plenty of work to do to make the most out of the talent set to return next year.
Here are five plays that changed the game:
1. Joe Mixon's long run sets up easy touchdown to C.J. Uzomah
The Browns struggled to contain Mixon in their first game against the Bengals on Dec. 8 when the running back rushed for 146 yards.
It didn't take long for Mixon to gash the Browns again Sunday.
On the Bengals' first drive after a Browns touchdown, Mixon broke free for a 41-yard run to the Browns' 15-yard line.
Quarterback Andy Dalton hit tight end C.J. Uzomah for a 15-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7, but it was Mixon's run that highlighted the drive and foreshadowed more struggles from the Browns defense against the third-year running back.
2. Darius Phillips intercepts Mayfield, sets up Bengals touchdown
Landry, however, slipped as he attempted to cut toward the pass. Phillips was there for the interception and returned the ball to the Browns' 3-yard line.
Mixon converted the turnover into a touchdown three plays later. The extra point attempt missed, but the Bengals had a 13-7 lead and never trailed the rest of the game.
3. Bengals reach 20 unanswered points with Dalton touchdown
Cincinnati extended its lead to 20-7 with 10 minutes left in the second quarter after a 12-play, 86-yard drive that ended with Dalton taking the ball himself for a 5-yard touchdown.
The Bengals converted on three third downs during the drive and utilized Mixon and wide receiver Tyler Boyd to pick up big plays and fatigue the Browns defense. No defender caught up to Dalton on the final play of the drive, when he raced outside the pocket and found a path to the pylon for the score.
After scoring a touchdown on their opening drive, the Browns surrendered 20 unanswered points.
Check out photos of the Browns in action against the Bengals
4. Mixon scores second touchdown, pads Bengals lead
If the Browns want to turn around their fortunes for next season, they'll need to find a way to stop Mixon in the Bengals' backfield.
The running back scored his second touchdown of the afternoon on a short 2-yard score that put the Bengals up 30-16 with 11 minutes left. Mixon, who had 103 rushing yards at halftime, carried Cincinnati all game and ended the season with over 160 combined rushing yards against the Browns.
5. Randy Bullock converts on late 46-yard field goal
The Bengals all but secured their second win of the season when kicker Randy Bullock split the uprights on a 46-yard field goal attempt with 2 minutes left.
That put Cincinnati up 33-23 and ended Cleveland's comeback hopes.
Mixon continued to bruise the Browns defense on the drive and helped moved the Bengals into field goal range with a bruising 28-yard run. The Browns couldn't do much at that point but hope that Bullock would miss the kick.
Instead, the kick was good and put a disappointing cap on the season.