EditorsNote: Some tweaks and updates throughout
Baker Mayfield threw four touchdown passes, Cleveland scored on its first four possessions and the Browns hung on for a 35-20 win over the Bengals on Sunday in Cincinnati.
The win was the first for the Browns on the road since an overtime win against Baltimore on Oct. 1, 2015. They had lost 25 straight away from home, one short of the record set by the Detroit Lions (2007-2010).
The victory also marked the first time the Browns won back-to-back games since 2014, when they won three straight.
The Browns (4-6-1) were in control and looked like they would waltz to the win, especially after starting Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton was knocked out of the game in the third quarter with a thumb injury.
But the Browns’ offense stalled trying to establish the run game in the second half, and the Bengals (5-6) found new life in backup quarterback Jeff Driskel, who entered the game after Dalton was injured.
Driskel drove Cincinnati to two second-half touchdowns to trim the 28-point deficit to 35-20.
Cincinnati and Driskel had a chance to cut the deficit to one possession, but the Bengals turned the ball over on downs on the Cleveland 13-yard line with 3:12 left in the game.
The banged-up Bengals, who didn’t have wide receiver A.J. Green or cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, were even more banged up after Dalton was forced out.
Driskel, the former Florida Gators quarterback, finished 17 of 29 for 155 yards and one touchdown.
Mayfield completed 17 of 21 pass attempts for 245 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. He threw scoring strikes to Antonio Callaway, Nick Chubb and David Njoku as the Browns took a 28-7 halftime lead.
Mayfield extended that lead to 35-7 early in the third after the Browns recovered a high snap that sailed over Dalton’s head (Dalton was hurt in the scramble for the ball). Mayfield found Darren Fells from 6 yards for his fourth touchdown pass of the day.
Mayfield finished 19 of 26 for 258 yards.
Cincinnati had hired ex-Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson last month to help settle the league’s worst defense.
Cincinnati outgained Cleveland by a margin of 372-342. The Bengals were penalized 13 times for 96 yards.
—Field Level Media