Second Half Dooms Browns Again In Loss To Bengals

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Nov 5, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver

Mohamed Sanu

(12) scores a touchdown on a pass from quarterback

Andy Dalton

(not pictured) in the second half against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Rapid Reaction: Second Half

Here we go again. The Browns managed a total of 7 yards and zero first downs in the third quarter–that is it! The complete inability of the Browns to move the ball just gave too many chances for a dynamic Bengals’ offense. Two big reasons behind the second half struggles were the Bengals’ defensive adjustments and the Browns’ wide receivers.

The front line for Cincinnati did a much better job of staying in their rush lanes and forcing Manziel to stay more in the pocket and scramble, not just roll out. Also, the Bengals’ secondary absolutely smothered the Browns’ receivers. No one was able to get open and make a difference. When they did, players such as WR Taylor Gabriel allowed well thrown balls to bounce off of their face or legs.

It might be time to give Dalton some love. He went 21-27 for 234 and 3 touchdowns. Dalton also had a 139.8 quarterback rating and led the Bengals to 17 unanswered points to pull away in the 2nd half. On the night he hit eight different receivers and never really got forced to adjust all night.

The on air debate about his postseason failings highlights the bigger issue with Dalton. He wins games and plays well, but needs a playoff win. If he keeps playing like this, he certainly will.

Bengals OC Hue Jackson called a great game tonight. His best call was the 25 yard reverse touchdown run by WR Mohamed Sanu. The Browns’ defense has not set the edge all year and has had a tendency to over pursue on run plays. Jackson took advantage of it and dialed up a reverse run where the only contact made with Sanu was by his teammates during the celebration.

Everyone got involved, especially Eifert who grabbed his third score in the second half. However, RBs Jeremy Hill (52 rushing yards), Gio Bernard (72 rushing yards), and WR Marvin Jones (78 receiving yards) all made an impact on the night.

Next: About The Browns