Baker Mayfield passed for two touchdowns and Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt each accumulated two scores as the host Cleveland Browns recorded a 35-30 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night.
Mayfield completed 16 of 23 passes for 219 yards and one interception with the touchdowns going to Odell Beckham Jr. and Hunt. Chubb ran for 124 yards on 22 carries, Hunt rushed for 86 yards and a score on 10 carries, and Myles Garrett had a key strip-sack for the Browns (1-1).
Rookie Joe Burrow was 37 of 61 for 316 yards and three touchdowns for Cincinnati (0-2). Randy Bullock kicked three field goals after missing a last-second attempt Sunday that would have tied a game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The contest was played in front of approximately 6,000 fans, the maximum approved by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine for Cleveland’s two September home games amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Burrow tossed a 4-yard scoring pass to Mike Thomas to move Cincinnati within 28-23 with 5:55 left. The Browns answered with a six-play, 75-yard drive capped by Hunt’s 1-yard run to restore a 12-point advantage with 3:55 left.
Burrow added a 9-yard scoring pass to Tyler Boyd with 43 seconds left before the Browns recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.
Cleveland, which finished with a 434-353 edge in total yards, took a 28-13 lead on Chubb’s 1-yard run with 5:45 left in the third quarter as part of a couple frenzied sequences.
Chubb initially appeared to score on a 23-yard run, but officials reviewed the play and ruled he was down inside the 1-yard line. Cleveland took four cracks at reaching the end zone with Chubb coming up a half-yard short on fourth down.
The Bengals took possession, and on their fifth play, Burrow lost the football when Garrett knocked it out of his grasp and Joe Jackson recovered the ball at the 1. Two plays later, Chubb ran for a touchdown.
Cincinnati’s Giovani Bernard appeared to scored on a 4-yard run with 1:52 remaining in the third, but a review found he was a foot short. The Bengals instead went backwards and settled for Bullock’s 27-yard field with 20 seconds left to trail by 12.
Mayfield passed for 167 yards and two touchdowns in the first half as the Browns led 21-13 at the break. Burrow had 169 yards and one score in the half.
Bullock kicked a 38-yard field goal to cap Cincinnati’s opening drive before Chubb responded with an 11-yard touchdown run on Cleveland’s first possession.
The Browns increased their lead to 14-3 when Mayfield connected with Beckham (four catches, 74 yards) on a 43-yard scoring toss down the left sideline with 11:54 left in the second quarter. Burrow responded with his first NFL touchdown pass by hitting C.J. Uzomah from 23 yards out with nine minutes left.
Mayfield threw a 6-yard scoring pass to Hunt to make it 21-10 with 1:31 left. Bullock booted a 43-yard field goal with two seconds left for the Bengals.
Uzomah (four catches for 42 yards) was carted off the field after he sustained a right Achilles injury with 8:01 remaining in the contest.
-Field Level Media