By Dylan Astor
The Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals faced off in Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Coming into the game, the Browns had named Austin Davis the starting quarterback, due to the injury Josh McCown suffered last week. This game was Davis’s first career start with the Browns, and while Davis looked promising, the rest of the team was a let down.
After the first offensive drive, the Browns knew that they were in for a ride. The Bengals had constant pressure on Davis. They had found a weak spot in the Browns’ offensive line, and it was Cameron Erving.
Erving is a rookie out of Florida State who was taken nineteenth overall in the 2015 NFL draft. He was originally a backup for the starter, Joel Bitonio, but he left the game early with an injury. The Bengals singled him out and threw their best pass rusher at him, Geno Atkins. Atkins put pressure on Davis almost every single play; however, it was not just Atkins who put pressure on Davis. Many other defensive linemen beat Erving off the block and got to Davis.
Injuries played a key role in Sunday’s game against the Bengals. Two of the Browns’ wide receivers were ruled before the game began, yet to prepare for this, they brought up Darius Jennings from the practice squad to play. They also resigned Terrelle Pryor, who did not see a snap. In the first quarter, wide receiver Travis Benjamin jumped up to catch a ball over his head and was dragged down onto his shoulder. The Brown’s ruled him out of the contest. The two-time pro bowler Joe Haden was inactive again with a concussion. Haden has only played once since week five of the season. With Haden’s absence, the Browns cornerback Charles Gaines was removed off of the injured reserved list,and was starting in place of Haden.
The Bengals offense torched the Browns’ defense. More specifically, it was the matchup of the Bengals wide receiver AJ Green, going up against the Browns cornerback Tramon Williams. During this first quarter, Green was on a streak route to the endzone and ran right by Williams. Luckily for Williams, he dove at the perfect time and tripped up Green. Unfortunately, however, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton scored on a three yard run. Green also had a wide open touchdown against Tramon Williams, going for 23 yards. Green finished the game with five receptions, 128 yards and a touchdown.
It was not only the passing game that torched the Browns, it was also the run game. The Bengals running back Jeremy Hill, had one of his best games of the season against the Browns. He only rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown, but this was a bounce back week for Hill. He still has not managed to rush for 100 yards in a single game, but this performance was the closest to it.
Many believe the game was not very entertaining to watch, unless the individual was a Bengals fan. The Browns only managed to put up three points, coming from a field goal by kicker Travis Coons, as time expired before the half. He attempted another field goal later in the game, but the kick was blocked.
The Bengals on the other hand, found it rather easy to score off of the Browns defense. Quarterback Andy Dalton threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. Kicker Mike Nugent managed to go three for three on field goals, and running back Jeremy Hill ran for a touchdown.
Here the team is again, with another disappointment; they got pummeled by the Bengals for the second time this year, 37-3. The Browns fell to 2-10, and the Bengals improved to 10-2.
Now many critics speculate if it is the players or the coaching staff to blame.