Browns 20

(4-7, 1-4 away)

Bengals 23

(7-4, 3-2 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, November 27, 2011

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH 

1 2 3 4 T
CLE 7 10 3 020
CIN 7 0 10 623

Top Performers

Passing: A. Dalton (CIN) - 270 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: C. Benson (CIN) - 21 CAR, 106 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: A. Green (CIN) - 3 REC, 110 YDS

Browns-Bengals Preview


For much of the past eight seasons, the Cincinnati Bengals have dominated the Cleveland Browns.

If quarterback Andy Dalton can add to his solid rookie campaign, the Bengals might continue that mastery of their rivals Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

Cincinnati's season-opening 27-17 win in Cleveland on Sept. 11 was its 11th in 14 matchups with the Browns. The Bengals (6-4) have also prevailed in six of seven home meetings, and enter this one having fallen just short during consecutive seven-point defeats.

Dalton was intercepted at Pittsburgh's 19-yard line late in the fourth quarter of a 24-17 loss Nov. 13, and Cincinnati couldn't get past Baltimore's 7-yard line on its final drive during last week's 31-24 defeat.

That loss dropped the Bengals a game behind the Steelers and Ravens in the AFC North.

Dalton finished with a career-best 373 yards against Baltimore. He also recorded his 15th touchdown pass, joining Peyton Manning and Dan Marino as the only rookies to accomplish that feat in 10 games since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

Dalton, though, was also picked off a career-worst three times after throwing two interceptions the previous week.

"Three mistakes and all three of them I can live with," offensive coordinator Jay Gruden told the Bengals' official website. "He did a great job. For the most part having to come from behind and throw (a career-high 45) times ... he kept us in it."

Dalton missed the second half of the season opener against Cleveland (4-6) after injuring his right wrist and his replacement, Bruce Gradkowski, threw a go-ahead 41-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green with 4:28 left.

The Bengals' leading receiver, however, has missed the past six quarters with a hyperextended right knee.

"I hope I can be back this week," Green said.

Dalton might need Green's help as he faces a Cleveland defense that's giving up a league-low 166.5 passing yards per game and is fifth with an average of 305.8 total yards allowed.

That hasn't translated to too many wins for the Browns because of an offense that ranks near the bottom in the league with averages of 14.5 points and 298.1 yards.

Cleveland, though, managed to end a season-high three-game skid last week by topping Jacksonville 14-10. The Browns scored two touchdowns for the first time in five weeks and held the Jaguars at the 1-yard line over the game's final two plays.

Cleveland is 3-1 in games that have been decided by four points or fewer.

"I like suspense," right tackle Tony Pashos said. "But man, this is a little too much."

The Browns might have running backs Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty available should they need to pull out another tight game.

Hillis, who has missed six straight games with a hamstring injury, practiced Friday for the first time in three weeks. Hardesty has sat out the past three contests with an injured calf.

Chris Ogbonnaya ran for a career-high 115 yards last week.

"I think Chris has been very productive. He's done things for our team that will warrant him playing, at least some, when our other guys come back," coach Pat Shurmur said. "We'll just see how it goes when they come back. I'm not concerned about that. That's a good problem to have, when you have a line of guys that you feel good about."

Fullback Owen Marecic is still dealing with symptoms of a concussion sustained last week, meaning tight end Alex Smith could start in his place.

Hillis had a team-best 57 yards on 17 carries in the opener against the Bengals, while Cedric Benson rushed for 121 and a touchdown for Cincinnati. Benson has yet to top that total in his eight subsequent games and has failed to surpass 78 in each of his last five.

Benson, though, might have a chance at an improved performance this week. He ran for 150 yards during a 19-17 home win over the Browns on Dec. 19 and had 171 during a 14-0 victory in Cleveland in 2008.

Cleveland's Colt McCoy, who has posted a 72.5 completion percentage over the past two games, connected on a career-best 76.0 percent of his attempts (19 of 25) during his only start in Cincinnati last December.

McCoy, though, was 19 of 40 against the Bengals in September while throwing two touchdowns and an interception.


Passing Leaders

B. Hoyer55.333261213
C. Shaw50.017701
A. Dalton64.233981917
M. Sanu100.07910

Rushing Leaders

T. West1716733.94
I. Crowell1486074.18
J. Hill22211245.19
G. Bernard1686804.05

Receiving Leaders

A. Hawkins6382413.12
T. Gabriel3662117.31
A. Green69104115.16
M. Sanu5679014.15

Team Averages & NFL Ranks

Total YardsCLE
Yards PassingCLE
Yards RushingCLE
Yards AllowedCLE
Pass Yds AllowedCLE
Rush Yds AllowedCLE

Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)

Cincinnati leads 14-8
Sep 11, 2011CLE 17, CIN 27
Dec 19, 2010CLE 17, @CIN 19
Oct 3, 2010CLE 23, CIN 20
Nov 29, 2009CLE 7, @CIN 16
Oct 4, 2009CLE 20, CIN 23
Dec 21, 2008CLE 0, CIN 14
Sep 28, 2008CLE 20, @CIN 12
Dec 23, 2007CLE 14, @CIN 19
Sep 16, 2007CLE 51, CIN 45
Nov 26, 2006CLE 0, CIN 30
Sep 17, 2006CLE 17, @CIN 34
Dec 11, 2005CLE 20, @CIN 23
Sep 11, 2005CLE 13, CIN 27
Nov 28, 2004CLE 48, @CIN 58
Oct 17, 2004CLE 34, CIN 17
Dec 28, 2003CLE 22, @CIN 14
Sep 28, 2003CLE 14, CIN 21
Nov 17, 2002CLE 27, @CIN 20
Sep 15, 2002CLE 20, CIN 7
Nov 25, 2001CLE 18, CIN 0
Oct 14, 2001CLE 14, @CIN 24