Not Pretty, But It’s a Win – 23-20 OT Victory in Cleveland

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Yes the Bengals probably would have taken a nice easy blowout on Sunday, and it looked like that was going to happen after the Bengals took a 14-0 lead over the Browns. Little did they know the dogfight they were in, as they had to rally late and then go four OT possessions to top the still winless Browns 23-20.

Shayne Graham, who had an interesting day kicking to say the least, nailed a 31-yard field goal with four seconds left in OT to send the Bengals to the win, pushing them to 3-1 on the season, good for a tie in first place in the AFC North with the Ravens, who fell in New England.

Graham’s day didn’t go so easy. He’ll have nightmares about Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers, who first blocked a field goal try on the Bengals first drive, then later on blocked an extra point that would have put the Bengals up 21-20 with 1:55 left.

Instead, after Carson Palmer hit Chad OchoCinco for the second time with a score on fourth down, Graham’s miss made it a tie game, meaning the Bengals still had work to do. But at least they did it. The team made a gutsy call in OT as Palmer went for 15 yards on a 4th-and-11 from the Cleveland 41. The Bengals could have tried a 56-yard field goal, punted it, or gone for it – they tried the latter, and it worked.

Palmer started red hot, going over 100 yards throwing in the first quarter, but then the Browns were able to put the clamps down on he and the Cincy offense. The Bengals got a five-yard score from Palmer to OchoCinco with :35 seconds left in the first quarter, then Robert Gathers picked off a Jerome Harrison fumble and went 75 yards for a score to make it 14-0 with 14:10 left in the first half.

The Browns though rallied, and made it 14-7 before the half with a Derek Anderson to Steve Heiden score with 1:28 left in the first half. They then tied the game in the third quarter when Anderson went in from 1-yard out with 1:37 left in the third to make it 14 all.

Browns kicker Billy Cundiff kicked two fourth quarter field goals until the Bengals finally put a drive together to tie the game, though they should have won it right there. Nevertheless, they will take the win, and live to fight another day, that being next Sunday against the also 3-1 Ravens.


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