Rookie Joe Mixon ran for a career-high 114 yards in the Cincinnati Bengals’ best offensive showing since the last time they faced Cleveland, a 30-16 victory Sunday that sent the Browns into December still winless for the second year in a row.
The Bengals (5-6) won back-to-back games for only the second time this season. They hadn’t scored so many points since they won 31-7 at Cleveland on Oct. 1.
Mixon also had an 11-yard touchdown that put it away in the fourth quarter. The Bengals came into the game with the worst rush offense in the NFL, making it to 100 yards only once before Sunday.
At 0-11, the Browns are starting to run out of chances for that breakthrough win. Last year, they waited until their 15th game to get their only victory and avoid the second 0-16 season in NFL history. They’re going down to the wire again.
Browns rookie DeShone Kizer ran 3 yards for a touchdown on a fourth-down quarterback keeper with 6:57 left, cutting it to 23-16 before Mixon’s TD run put it away. Kizer was 18 of 31 for 268 yards. He also could have had a 29-yard touchdown pass, but Corey Coleman dropped the ball in the end zone.
Cincinnati’s Randy Bullock and Cleveland’s Zane Gonzalez each kicked three field goals. Andy Dalton finished 18 of 28 for 214 yards with a pair of touchdowns.
In Cleveland, they’re already wondering whether Hue Jackson will be around for another season — he is 1-26 since leaving Cincinnati as offensive coordinator. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis also has uncertainty ahead as he finishes the final year on his contract.
CROSSING THE LINE
Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict drew a personal foul for hitting a defenseless receiver on Cleveland’s opening drive. Browns wide receiver Bryce Treggs was flagged for taunting on Cleveland’s next drive. There were a couple of skirmishes after plays as well.
Browns: Kizer missed one series in the second quarter while being evaluated for a concussion. Punter Britton Colquitt also was sidelined temporarily while being evaluated. Gonzalez punted once in his place, for only 16 yards.
Bengals: Linebacker Nick Vigil twisted his right ankle late in the first half, returned briefly in the second half and left the game.
Browns play at the Los Angeles Chargers. They beat the Chargers 20-17 in the second-to-last game for their only win last season.
Bengals host the Steelers on Monday night, the second of three straight home games. The Steelers beat them in Pittsburgh 29-14 on Oct. 22.