CLEVELAND — The return of Robert Griffin III and a resurgent run game weren't enough to lift the Browns to their first win of the season.
Instead, the Bengals raced out to a fast start and coasted off that momentum to a 23-10 win Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Bengals (5-7-1) built a 20-0 lead behind quarterback Andy Dalton, who completed 20-of-28 throws for 180 yards and two touchdowns, and a defense that held the Browns to less than 100 yards in the first half.
In the process, Cleveland fell to 0-13 this year despite rushing for 169 yards and registering four sacks.
While the Browns hoped Griffin — who missed the past 12 weeks with a shoulder injury — could provide something of a spark, they instead found success in once-powerful rushing attack.
Running backs Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr. powered a unit that had its best
outing since Week 4. Crowell, who eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the third time this season, carried the ball 11 times for 113 yards while Johnson had 65 yards on five touches.
But it was all ultimately too little too late.
Cleveland trailed after the first series and was never able to cut the deficit to less than 10 points against a Bengals offense that outmatched them 216-72 yards in the first half.
Griffin passed for 104 yards and an interception on 12-of-28 attempts while rushing for 31 yards and a late one-yard touchdown that cut the lead to 20-10 in the fourth quarter.
The Browns travel to Buffalo next weekend before hosting San Diego Dec. 24.
The Browns play the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14.