Cincinnati Bengals vs Cleveland Browns Recap 9/11/2011

What a better way to start your NFL career than face the instate rival in Cleveland Browns. With many familiar faces gone from the team this was different look Bengals, and It was evident it the play as they beat the Cleveland Browns 27-17.

I'm not sure if Andy Dalton's first career start got off to a smooth start as he marched the Bengals down the field to get a Mike Nugent 24 field goal as the Bengals took an early 3-0 lead.

In his second series, Andy Dalton led the Bengals down the  field for a 2 yard hook up with Jermaine Gresham to extend the Bengals lead to 10-0.

All along the Bengals defense has been putting pressure on the Browns who had to settle for three straight punts before they got on the score board.

On the next two Browns possession Colt McCoy led this teams to two straight touchdowns to give the Browns a 14-13 lead going into half-time, mostly assisted by two blown coverage on defense. 

The second half was a defensive battle, until the Browns feel asleep at the line of scrimmage and the Bengals ran a quick snap count to get A.J. Green wide open for a 41 yard hook up from the backup QB Gradkowski.

That touchdown put the Bengals up 20-17, from there on it was all about the Bengals defense. The defense stepped up when their name was called. Everything the Browns tired to do, the defense stopped.

And just to put a little cherry on top, Cedric Benson on 3rd and 3 with less than 2 minutes left, got a rushing touchdown to put the Bengals up 27-17.

I have to admit, I didn't give much of a chance to the Bengals after Dalton went out with a wrist injury. I don't think anyone put any faith in Bruce Gradkowski to rally this team for a win, but he did.

Major props goes to the defense for winning the line of scrimmage and for no penalties. Also credit goes to the offense for no turnovers.

Special credit goes to Dunlap, he kept putting pressure on McCoy though out the game. Also give credit to Nelson for making big hit after big hit. The offensive line played really well, kept both the QB's safe and protected though out the game.

On a side note, Dalton was 10 of 15 with 81 yard and one TD with a passer rating of 102.5. Those numbers would have been much better if some of the WR's didn't drop a few balls.

Denver next week.