CINCINNATI -- The Browns' 2019 season came to a disappointing finish at the hands of their in-state rivals.
Cleveland got off to a fast start but couldn't survive a wicked counter-punch from the Bengals, who rattled off 20 unanswered points and held off the Browns in the second half en route to a 33-23 victory at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Browns fell to 6-10 with their third consecutive loss and finished in third place in the AFC North. The Bengals, who are on the clock with the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, moved to 2-14.
Baker Mayfield got the Browns off to a hot start with a long touchdown pass on the team's opening drive but couldn't generate the same kind of consistency the rest of the way. Under constant pressure throughout the game, Mayfield finished 12-of-27 for 279 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. He was sacked a season-high six times.
Nick Chubb ran 13 times for 41 yards, giving him 1,494 on the season, the fourth-most in Browns history. Odell Beckham Jr. caught three passes for 81 yards, giving him 1,035 on the season. With Jarvis Landry finishing the season at 1,174 yards after his 82-yard effort Sunday, it marks the first time Cleveland's had two wide receivers and a running back clear 1,000 yards in the same season.
Joe Mixon powered the Bengals on the ground with 162 yards and two touchdowns. Andy Dalton found the end zone once through the air and once on the ground while throwing for 190 yards.
Check out photos of the Browns in action against the Bengals
The Browns trailed by 14 early in the fourth quarter after a 2-yard Mixon touchdown but fought back to within a touchdown after Mayfield's fourth-and-goal, 20-yard touchdown pass to Beckham, who leaped over a defender and dragged move of his feet to make the spectacular catch.
The Bengals put the game away on the ensuing possession, draining 5:21 off the clock and extending lead to double digits with a Randy Bullock field goal.
The Browns got off to as hot of a start as they have all season, needing just three plays after a long D’Ernest Johnson kickoff return to find the end zone. Mayfield's 46-yard touchdown pass to Damion Ratley -- the first of Ratley's career - put Cleveland ahead, 7-0, less than 2 minutes into the game.
It just wasn't as easy the rest of the way, and Cincinnati pounced with 20 unanswered points to build a 13-point lead.
Mixon rushed for 103 yards and the second of three Bengals touchdowns in the first half. Mixon's 41-yard run on Cincinnati's first offensive possession set up C.J. Uzomah's 15-yard touchdown reception, and Dalton kept it himself for a 5-yard touchdown run with 10:06 to play in the second quarter to stake the Bengals to a 20-7 advantage.
The Browns climbed back into it with a 42-yard Austin Seibert field goal and another long touchdown pass from Mayfield. The quarterback found Landry down the middle of the field for a 56-yard touchdown with 1:52 to play in the half to send Cleveland to the locker room trailing 20-16.