While the Browns got a breakout performance from Trent Richardson, the defense took a major step back without Joe Haden, losing to the Bengals 34-27.
Cincy QB Andy Dalton picked on the Browns secondary all day in putting up 34 points, throwing three touchdowns.
A.J. Green had a 10-yard score for the Bengals, and Brandon Tate chipped in with a 44-yard TD. The clincher was a short pass that Andrew Hawkins turned into a 50-yard score in the fourth quarter.
The score for Hawkins put the Bengals up 31-17 with 10:44 to play. Mike Nugent kicked a field goal to make it 34-24 after Greg Little caught a TD from Brandon Weeden to get the Browns closer.
Dalton was 24 of 31 for 318 yards with three touchdowns. The Browns D got to him for six sacks and an interception, but the Bengals signal caller challenged the Browns all day, and it worked.
The Bengals started fast, with Adam “Pacman” Jones running back a punt 81 yards early in the game to give the Bengals a 7-0 lead. It was the fifth career punt return for Jones for a score.
The Browns hung in with an offense that looked night and day better than a week ago when they managed just three field goals.
Richardson went for 109 yards rushing, and became the first Browns rookie to run for 100 yards and score on a run and a pass.
Weeden completed 26 of 37 for 322 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and two sacks for a passer rating of 114.9.
The Bengals have won 13 of the past 16 against the Browns.