Post Game Recap

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Browns use pick-6, 2nd half rushing attack to take down Bengals 

The Browns are back in the win column after coming back to a place they've played so well through the second half of the season.

Cleveland won its fourth straight game Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium by taking down the Bengals, 27-19. The win was the Browns' third straight against their in-state rivals and fourth out of the last five overall after a 2-6 start to the year.

The Browns moved to 6-7 on the season with a 3-1 mark in the AFC North. The Bengals fell to 1-12.

Nick Chubb had just 7 yards in the first half but finished with 106 for his sixth 100-yard game of the season. Kareem Hunt added 28 and a touchdown to go along with two catches for 40 yards.

Baker Mayfield didn't need to throw the ball much in the second half, but he had a handful of timely completions as the Browns sealed the game with a fourth quarter drive that took 6:08 off the clock and ended with a field goal that stretched the Browns' advantage to 11. Mayfield finished 11-of-24 for 192 yards with a rushing touchdown and two interceptions. 

What would have been a costly third interception late in the fourth quarter turned into a positive for the Browns. After an official review, Mayfield's third-down throw intended for Odell Beckham Jr., which was tipped and intercepted by Jessie Bates Jr., was overturned because pass interference occurred on the play.

Mayfield went on to complete a 22-yard pass to Ricky Seals-Jones on third-and-8 and a 34-yard pass to Jarvis Landry on third-and-10 to milk precious time off the clock and set up Austin Seibert's 31-yarder.

Landry led Cleveland receivers with four catches for 76 yards. He's 5 shy of 1,000 for the season.

Joe Mixon paced the Bengals with 146 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. Andy Dalton completed 22-of-38 passes for 268 yards and an interception on a day Cincinnati out-gained the Browns, 451-333, but came up short on multiple occasions inside the red zone.

Check out photos of the Browns in action against the Bengals

The Browns rushed for just 30 yards in the first half, but they doubled that and then some on a commanding opening drive to start the third quarter. A 57-yard run by Chubb was the big play Cleveland needed, and Hunt capped it with a short touchdown run to extend Cleveland's lead, 21-13.

Hunt, who joined the Browns in Week 10 after serving an eight-game suspension to start the season, has scored touchdowns in three straight games.

Cleveland used two big stands in the red zone -- with a 53-yard Seibert field goal sandwiched in between -- to prevent Cincinnati from tying the game.

The Bengals got all the way to the 2-yard line with first-and-goal late in the third quarter but only came away with a field goal to make it 21-16. Larry Ogunjobi and Bryan Cox combined on a sack to drive Cincinnati back to the 10-yard line, and the defense held firm from there.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Bengals had the ball at Cleveland's 7-yard line with four plays to score. Mixon was stuffed twice, Dalton threw incomplete on third down and was stuffed on a designed run on fourth down, keeping the score at 24-16 with 7:14 to play.

The Browns were outgained by more than 100 yards in the first half, but they took a 14-13 lead to the locker rooms thanks to Denzel Ward's biggest defensive play of the season.

With the Browns trailing 3-0 midway through the first quarter, Ward snagged his first interception of the season when a Dalton pass intended for Auden Tate deflected off the receiver's hands and headed directly his way. Thanks to some nice blocks from his teammates, Ward had a relatively clear path to the end zone on the way to his 61-yard return.

The defensive touchdown was Cleveland's first in more than two years, with the last coming Oct. 15, 2017, against the Texans by Jason McCourty.

It just wasn't as easy for Cleveland's offense as it was for Cincinnati's, which out-gained the Browns, 242-139. The Bengals picked up yards in chunks on a touchdown drive that followed Mayfield's second interception of the first quarter. Joe Mixon punched it in from 1 yard to give the Bengals a 13-7 lead less than 3 minutes into the second quarter.

The Browns responded and regained the lead with their only offensive touchdown of the half on the ensuing drive. Cleveland got rolling after a 20-yard, third-and-long reception by Jarvis Landry and found the end zone on the drive's 10th play when Mayfield ran 7 yards and hit the pylon with a leap.

The Browns head west next week to face the Arizona Cardinals.

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