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Postgame Recap

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David Bell grabs 2 TDs in 4th quarter for late offensive spark in Browns loss to Bengals

Browns close out the regular season 11-6

NEW Postgame REcap Week 18

With the Browns resting a number of starters and key players for Week 18, many of their younger players and backups had the chance to gain game reps. QB Jeff Driskel earned the start after signing to the Browns active roster a week earlier, and found an offensive spark late in the fourth quarter with WR David Bell.

However, it wasn't enough, as the Bengals beat the Browns 31-14. The Browns finish the regular season 11-6 and turn their attention to the playoffs.

Key Moments:

The Browns put their first points of the game on the board in the fourth quarter. On a fourth-and-4 with 8:45 left in the fourth quarter, Driskel threw a deep pass to Bell in the end zone for a 31-yard touchdown reception. Then, with 2:39 left in the game, Driskel connected with Bell once again for a 24-yard touchdown pass.

The Browns struggled offensively throughout the first half, as Driskel threw two interceptions. The first came on the third play of the game when Driskel threw a pass intended for WR Cedric Tillman and was picked off. The Browns were held scoreless in the first half and were not able to get within field goal range at the end for the second quarter to put points on the board.

The Browns defense struggled throughout the first half, as they gave up 24 points on two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown by RB Joe Mixon. However, they stepped up in the second half and limited the Bengals to one touchdown the rest of the way.

The Browns defense had a key moment early in the game on the Bengals' fourth play of the game, as S D'Anthony Bell picked off a pass intended for WR Tyler Boyd. Boyd tipped the ball, trying to come down with the pass, and Bell batted the ball down to himself and caught the pass to give the ball back to their offense.

Stat of the Game:

DE Alex Wright recorded a sack for a loss of 10 yards. It was his fourth-consecutive game with a sack.

Player of the Game:

David Bell

Bell found the end zone twice in the fourth quarter to put the Browns on the board. He caught a 31-yard touchdown reception, and then a 24-yard touchdown reception. He finished the game with four receptions for 68 yards and two touchdowns. It was also Bell's first game of the season with two receiving touchdowns.

What does it mean?

Heading into Week 18, the Browns had clinched a playoff berth and were locked into the fifth seed in the AFC. They believed they had earned an opportunity to rest players, and give a chance for their backups and younger players to get important game reps. So, even with the loss, it does not affect their postseason.

However, with it being a chance for the younger players and backups to show how they can contribute in a game situation, the Browns defense struggled to showcase their dominance, giving up 31 points. Offensively, even though he's been with the Browns for just one week, Driskel also struggled to connect with players in the passing game and create a flow offensively. The Browns also could not find a rhythm in the run game.

Sunday's performance isn't cause for concern, though. As the Browns prepare for their playoff matchup, their starters will be back on the field.

What's next?

The Browns will officially face the AFC South-winning Texans in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.