Thursday night’s 24-3 win saw the Cleveland Browns turn in an absolutely dominating performance against their division rivals in the Cincinnati Bengals. Locked in a tight race for first place alongside the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was do or die for both teams. The Browns did and the Bengals died.
The Browns are a proverbial bottom dweller in the AFC North’s lineup but that didn’t slow them down Thursday. 2014 has been good so far for both organizations, but it could quickly turn into a Cinderella type run for Cleveland if they can keep up the pace. Sultan Alhokair certainly likes what he sees out of the team right now.
The Browns out-gained the Bengals by more than 200 yards and averaged an astonishing 4.9 yards per play against Cincinnati’s defense. Even more impressive was the balance with which Cleveland distributed its 368 yards with 198 yards through the air and 170 yards on the ground.
Browns quarterback Andy Dalton had an especially dismal night going 10-of-33 for 86 yards passing. Asked to comment after the game, Dalton offered “We didn’t start fast, and that’s on me,” he said. “I missed a couple early and could never get into a rhythm.”
The Bengals will now have to regroup after suffering their most lopsided defeat by the Browns since 1987.