The Battle of Ohio did not look much like a contest at all. According to ESPN.com, Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes and Cincinnati returned a blocked punt and a fumble for touchdowns during a 31-point second quarter that set a Bengals record and swept the AFC North leaders to a 40-21 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
The Bengals, who are now 7-4, head into their bye week still with a division lead. They'd lost their last two games in overtime, tying the NFL record. The Browns, now 4-6, are still looking to again ground in the AFC North, but took a major step backward this week.
While Dalton looked awful, the Bengals defense rose to the occasion and saved the afternoon at Cinergy Field. Here are five things we learned from Sunday’s game.
When you need rushing yards, go to Ogbonnaya
The Browns brought in free agents to look at to bolster the running game this week, but it was Chris Ogbonnaya who got the call to run the ball on Sunday.
Ogbonnaya had 61 yards on eight carries for the Browns. While the team had placed the work load on the legs of Willis McGahee after the Trent Richardson trade, may the team finally found a workhorse it can depend on to get the tough yards.
Dalton has become Mr. Jekyll and Hyde
While Andy Dalton will show up? The quarterback who won Player of the Month Honors in October or the one who has looked horrid of late.
Sunday was no better.
The third year quarterback was 13 of 27 for only 93 yards and two interceptions on the day. He did throw three touchdown passes, but the inaccuracy is something that needs to be addressed. Hopefully, the week off for the team’s bye will allow him to rest and work out the mental flaws in his game.
Haden came up huge
I predicted that Joe Haden, the Browns best defender, could have a huge game. He proved my theory right.
The former Florida Gators defensive back picked off two passes and ran one of them back 29 yards for a touchdown to give Cleveland a 13-0 lead in the first quarter.
From there, it was all downhill for the Browns the remainder of the game.
Campbell looks OK in loss
While everyone was watching to see which Andy Dalton would show up, The Browns Jason Campbell put up decent numbers on the day. Campbell is the third quarterback to make a start for this team this season and completed 25 of 56 for 248 yards on the day. I said his numbers were decent, not great. He did throw three interceptions on the day.
Gordon has skills
Josh Gordon proved he is still a great asset in Cleveland. He caught five balls for 125 yards and a score. When the Browns traded Richardson to the Colts, it was thought this team would have a fire sale and Gordon would be part of the purge. Now, Gordon is one of the more critical parts of this team.