In what most media, pro football experts and most fans expected to be a one-sided affair, the Cleveland Browns may have accomplished two things – they probably made some believers around the nation and possibly may have also delayed the Brady Quinn experiment. In a game that recorded a total of 1,085 yards in total offense, the Cleveland Browns outlasted the Cincinnati Bengals 51-45 at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
The Browns accomplished a franchise first – they had a 300-yard passer, a 200-yard running back and two 100-yard receivers in one game – a first for them since they joined the NFL back in 1950. Defense was nonexistent on this Sunday, as excellent pass protection by both sides (only 1 sack was recorded today) made for this offensive explosion.
Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer had one of the best days of his career, going 33-for-50 for 401 yards with 6 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, while Browns QB Derek Anderson countered with equally impressive numbers: 20-for-33 for 328 yards with 5 TDs’ and only 1 INT. The rushing games of both teams were efective, as well. The Bengals RB Rudi Johnson turned in an impressive effort with 118 yards on the ground, while the Browns’ RB, Jamal Lewis, exploded for 215 yards on 28 carries with a rushing TD.
Probably the key of the game was when the Bengals, with no timeouts, had the ball on their own 9-yard line with 1:03 remaining in the game. After 2 completions by Palmer, he bulleted a 30-yard pass to WR Chad Johnson, who finished the game with 11 catches for 209 yards and 2 TD’s. But 1 play later with 24 seconds left, Browns cornerback Leigh Bodden intercepted a Palmer pass.
The Bengals came into today’s game feeling good, especially after they beat the Baltimore Ravens last week. But as Palmer said after the game, “I don’t think anybody expected this game to shake out like this. “If anything, it’s a good reminder for us that it doesn’t matter who you play. This is one of the tougher losses. I thought we had this win. I feel like I’m mourning over a loss. I’m just going to try and shake it off.” The Browns, now 1-1, have a chance to go 2-1 with a visit to Oakland next Sunday to face the 0-2 Raiders. The Bengals will attempt to regroup when they go to Seattle to face the 1-1 Seahawks.
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