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Browns win season opener against Bengals, defense dominates

Cleveland wins 100th meeting in the "Battle of Ohio" on Sunday


The Browns defeated the Bengals 24-3 in their season opener on Sunday afternoon at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

After a closely contested first half, the Browns dominated the second half, leaving the Bengals to just a field goal before pulling away in the fourth. Their skillful execution of plays and strategic maneuvers allowed them to pull away from the Bengals in the 100th meeting of the "Battle of Ohio."

Despite light rain throughout the game, it was a loud and jam-packed house for the Browns' season opener. The defense set the tone in the first half by forcing the Bengals' offense to punt in their first seven drives. Five were three and outs.

The defensive line made Bengals QB Joe Burrow uncomfortable all game. Despite only sacking Burrow twice, the team managed to get nine quarterback hurries. DE Ogbo Okoronkwo made the Browns' first sack of the season when he brought Burrow down for a loss of two on the opening drive. DE Myles Garrett got the team's second sack in the fourth quarter on a fourth-down play to essentially seal the game.

The defense forced the Bengals to punt a total of 10 times and held one of the league's best offenses over the past few years to three points.

Check out photos of the Browns against the Bengals in Week 1

After having hiccups throughout the first half, the Browns' offense found their swagger with 1:36 left in the 2nd quarter. WR Elijah Moore electrified the building on the drive's opening play when he lined up in the backfield and rushed for 19 yards. On the fifth play, QB Deshaun Watson made a tremendous throw, threading the ball between two defenders for a 12-yard completion to WR Donovan Peoples-Jones. Four plays later, Watson escaped the collapsing pocket, ran for 13 yards and scored the game's first touchdown with 17 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

Watson passed for his first touchdown of the season when he found TE Harrison Bryant for a 3-yard pass with 9:14 left in the game. Watson also used his legs a lot Sunday, rushing for 45 yards on five attempts.

RB Nick Chubb, who rushed for over 100 yards five times in his career against the Bengals, continued the tradition Sunday. He ran for 106 yards on 18 attempts and received four catches for 21 yards.

The game's first points came after Dustin Hopkins made a 42-yard FG with 14:15 in the 2nd quarter, earning a loud fan reaction. Hopkins went 3-for-3 on the day.

The Browns will be back in action next Monday, Sept. 18 when they take on the Steelers at Acrisure Stadium Monday night.

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