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(Sunday, October 3rd)
Final Score: Cleveland 23, Cincinnati 20
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Seneca Wallace was efficient in throwing for 184 yards and a touchdown, as the Cleveland Browns recorded their first win of the 2010 season with a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Wallace completed 18-of-30 passes and was picked off once in his third straight start for the Browns (1-3), who had lost their first three games by a combined 12 points. Peyton Hillis carried the ball 27 times for 102 yards and a score, while Ben Watson caught six passes for 60 yards.
The Browns, who were mired in a 1-9 skid against divisional opponents, snapped the Bengals' eight-game win streak versus the AFC North.
"I think we played a complete game, all around," Wallace said. "We had one turnover on offense, but our defense played well throughout the whole game, special teams. We didn't have that many penalties, and we got a lot of calls to go our way and you need that sometimes."
Carson Palmer threw for 371 yards and two scores on 25-of-36 efficiency for the Bengals (2-2), who had won their previous two contests. Terrell Owens was the primary receiver for Palmer on the day, catching 10 balls for 222 yards and a touchdown.
It was the second-highest single-game yardage total for Owens and the third 200-yard game of his career.
The Bengals scored on two consecutive possessions to climb to within three points of Cleveland and regained the ball with 9 1/2 minutes remaining.
The first play of the drive, which started from the Cincinnati 14, went for 14 yards, and Cedric Benson followed with a 12-yard run to gain the 40-yard line. On 3rd-and-5 from the 45, Palmer hit Owens for seven yards and a first down near midfield.
Benson rumbled for another 10 yards into Cleveland territory before an offensive pass interference penalty on Chad Ochocinco put the Bengals in a 3rd-and-13 from the Browns' 41. Palmer was sacked while on the move on the next play, forcing Cincinnati to punt with just under five minutes to go.
After throwing an incompletion on the first play of the ensuing series, the Browns turned to Hillis six consecutive times. His final run went for 24 yards, which allowed the hosts to kneel the ball three times to run out the remainder of the clock.
"Too many mistakes at timely times. We had the fumble early that killed us on a drive, we were moving the football. And to have the other fumble, both of them are tough," said Bengals tackle Andrew Whitworth. "But there at the end we had a chance to win it, we just didn't come up with enough plays."
The Bengals fumbled the ball away on their second possession, giving the Browns good field position near midfield. A nine-play, 39-yard drive ensued, and Phil Dawson put Cleveland on top with a 30-yard field goal.
The Browns' defense forced a Cincinnati punt, and Cleveland put together an impressive eight-play series that went 87 yards for a score. Wallace completed two consecutive passes to Josh Cribbs and Chansi Stuckey for 15 and 17 yards, respectively, to gain the Bengals' 28. Two plays later, Wallace found Evan Moore up the middle for a 24-yard touchdown and 10-0 lead with 11 minutes until halftime.
Cincinnati had a quick response, using a 42-yard pass completion to Ochocinco to put Mike Nugent in position for a 24-yard field goal and 10-3 contest. After a Browns punt, the Bengals tied the game with one big play.
Facing 2nd-and-13 from the Cincinnati 22, Palmer found a streaking Owens down the left sideline. Having beaten cornerback Sheldon Brown, Owens caught the ball in stride and raced 78 yards for the touchdown, tying the game at 10.
The Bengals sought to take their first lead with 1 1/2 minutes until halftime, but Scott Fujita came up with a key block on a Nugent field goal attempt, leading to Dawson's 31-yard field goal on the last play of the half to give the hosts a 13-10 advantage.
Cleveland received the second half's opening kickoff and moved the ball 64 yards in 11 plays. A defensive pass interference helped keep the drive moving on 3rd-and-6 from the Browns' 40, and Wallace converted another third down with an eight-yard pass to Stucki to gain the red zone. From the one-yard line, Hillis punched it in for a 20-10 lead.
Palmer fumbled the ball away on Cincinnati's next possession, giving Cleveland the ball in the Bengals' red zone. The Browns' couldn't add a touchdown, but Dawson's 22-yard field goal extended the lead with 6 1/2 minutes left in the third.
Nugent's 25-yard field goal just before the end of the third quarter got the Bengals to within 10, and Brian Leonard caught a three-yard touchdown pass with just under 11 minutes left to make it a three-point game.
Owens' top game was a 20-reception, 283-yard game with the 49ers in 2000. He last garnered over 200 yards with Dallas on November 23, 2008, when he caught seven passes for 213 yards...Owens passed Issac Bruce for second on the all-time receiving yardage list with 15,325...Hillis has a rushing touchdown in four consecutive games...Bengals receiver Jordan Shipley left the game in the third quarter with a concussion...The Browns have led in the second half of each game this season...The Bengals still lead the all-time series, 38-36.
10/04 00:35:16 ET
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