SportsPulse: Lorenzo almost had a perfect weekend to start the season. He’s back for Week 2 and giving you his best bets for Sunday.
If the Cincinnati Bengals could have stopped the Cleveland Browns’ running backs in the last five minutes, Joe Burrow would have had a second chance to lead the Bengals on a game-winning touchdown drive.
But when Cleveland got the ball with six minutes left and a 5-point lead, the Browns ran the ball 75 yards in six consecutive plays to seal the victory despite the Bengals’ final scoring drive.
Burrow outplayed Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield on Thursday night, but the Browns outplayed the Bengals in just about every other area. Cincinnati lost 35-30 to the Browns to fall to 0-2 for the second consecutive season.
Cleveland finished with 217 rushing yards and three sacks, and the Bengals allowed two wide open touchdown receptions that allowed the Browns to take an early lead.
Mayfield and Burrow both played like top NFL draft picks, but the Bengals made it difficult for Burrow to pull off a comeback win. The rookie quarterback led a touchdown drive in the last two minutes, but it was too late.
The Bengals couldn’t tackle Browns running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the last six minutes, so Burrow didn’t have the opportunity to lead Cincinnati to its first win of the season.
The Bengals had the worst rushing defense in the NFL last season, and the unit struggled without injured defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
Cincinnati had its only chance to tie the score in the third quarter, but that time the Bengals offensive line kept a scoring drive from developing.
NFL WEEK 2 PICKS: Do Patriots or Seahawks forge 2-0 start Sunday night?
With six minutes left in the third quarter, the Bengals trailed by eight points and had the ball on their 12-yard line. Bengals offensive guard Fred Johnson whiffed on a block on Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, who stripped Burrow on the 12-yard line.
Cleveland led by double digits two plays later, and the Bengals never had another chance to tie the score.
Unlike like in week one, the Bengals defense didn’t keep them in the game. After Cincinnati allowed just 16 points in its season opener, the Bengals allowed 21 points in the first half to a team that only had one touchdown in its season opener.
On the first possession of the game, Burrow led the Bengals on a 15-play, 41-yard field goal drive. But Cleveland found the end zone on its next possession, and the Browns never lost that early lead.
Cincinnati only stopped Mayfield and the Browns once in the first half, and the 2018 draft’s top pick threw for 167 yards in the first half. He found wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. early in the second quarter for a 43-yard touchdown to take a double-digit lead in the second quarter. Beckham Jr. juked past Bengals cornerback William Jackson III for his longest reception in over 12 months.
Every time Cleveland threatened to run away with the game, Burrow responded with a drive that kept the score close.
When the Browns took an 11-point lead in the second quarter, Burrow threw the first touchdown pass of his career – a 23-yard deep ball to tight end C.J. Uzomah. When the Browns extended that lead back to 11 points later in the second quarter, Burrow closed the half with a 12-play, 50-yard field goal drive.
And after Chubb punched in a touchdown from one yard line in the third quarter to give Cleveland a 28-13 lead, Burrow led the Bengals to another scoring drive.
Most of Burrow’s other drives should have been longer – the Bengals allowed a sack, botched a snap, watched Garrett strip Burrow and were stopped at the goal line on different third down plays during the first three quarters.
Burrow threw 61 passes for 316 yards on a 60.7 completion percentage, but the defense didn’t give the Bengals a shot at a game-tying drive in the fourth quarter.
Cincinnati got closest with six minutes left after Burrow threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Mike Thomas. That cut the score to 28-23, but Cleveland’s rushing attack killed the clock with a six-play, 75 yard touched drive. Hunt sealed the Browns’ win with a one-yard touchdown run with 3:59 left in the game.
Burrow threw a touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd on the ensuing possession, but Cincinnati didn’t recover the onside kick.
If you love talking football, we have the perfect spot for you. Join our Facebook Group, The Ruling Off the Field, to engage in friendly debate and conversation with fellow football fans and our NFL insiders. Do the right thing, sign up now!
Having the apt skills to play with words to put forth various updates and news relating to the field of technology in an interesting way has made Adrian is a contributor in our organization. He is dedicated to writing articles related to all the up-to-the-minute inventions, launches, updates, and much more happening in the world of technology. In his free time, Adrian offers a guest lecture to kids about the latest inventions.