Monday, November 30, 2009
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Bengals run over Browns 16-7

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[November 30, 2009]  CINCINNATI (AP) -- With newcomer Larry Johnson leading the way, the Bengals ran the table in the AFC North by running all over the Cleveland Browns.

Johnson rushed for 107 yards in Cincinnati's conservative approach Sunday, and the Bengals completed their first division sweep with a 16-7 victory in their one-sided intrastate rivalry.

The Bengals (8-3) went 6-0 in the division with a retooled run-first offense and a stout defense that has carried them into first place. They rushed for 210 yards on Sunday, with Johnson -- signed less than two weeks ago as insurance -- subbing for Cedric Benson, out for the second straight week with an injured hip.

The Browns (1-10) reached double-digit losses for the eighth time in their 11 years as an expansion team, done in by an offense that's been historically bad. Cincinnati now has the longest stretch of domination in the series' history, winning nine of the past 11 games.


Neither team threw it much -- the Bengals by design, the Browns by default. Cleveland's Brady Quinn caught a pass from Joshua Cribbs and ran for a touchdown in his first start in the rivalry, but repeatedly was off-target while passing for only 100 yards.

Quinn grew up as a Browns fan in central Ohio, watching the let-it-fly matchups between Cleveland's Bernie Kosar and Cincinnati's Boomer Esiason. His first start in the rivalry came on a hand-it-off day. The teams combined for 63 yards passing in the first half, which ended with another unexplainable Browns blunder.

Carson Palmer was running toward the sideline with the clock running out when Shaun Rogers caught him from behind and made a horsecollar tackle, slamming the quarterback hard on his back. A dazed Palmer rolled over and lay face-down for several seconds, then got up and walked off slowly without assistance.

The penalty gave the Bengals an extra play with no time left, and Shayne Graham matched his career high with a 53-yard field goal that made it 13-0.

It was the second week in a row that a Browns penalty resulted in an extra play and points. Safety Hank Poteat's interference in the end zone in Detroit set up an extra play last week, allowing Matthew Stafford to throw a touchdown pass for the Lions' 38-37 victory.

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Nursing Homes

Rogers suffered a leg injury late in the game and was taken off the field on a cart.

Cleveland's only points came off a little trickery, with Quinn morphing into a receiver/runner on the Browns' opening drive of the second half. Cribbs cut in front of the quarterback to take a snap, then threw back to his left for an 18-yard completion to Quinn, who was covered by a linebacker and held on as he was tackled.

Quinn completed the drive with a 9-yard draw play that cut the lead to 13-7, diving in headfirst for his first career rushing touchdown.

The passing game? Not so good. In his third start since regaining the job, Quinn went 15 of 34 for 100 yards. Palmer was 13 of 24 for 110 yards, not missing a play after the hard tackle by Rogers.

[Associated Press; By JOE KAY]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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