The Cincinnati Bengals played host to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night and came away with a big time win. The 31-10 victory improved Cincinnati to 8-0 on the season for the first time in franchise history, while the Browns fell to 2-7.
The high-scoring effort started with tight end Tyler Eifert. With 7:12 left in the first quarter, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton dropped back and connected with his tight end for a nine-yard score to take an early 7-0 lead.
Travis Coons kicked a 27-yard field goal for the Browns with 10 seconds to play in the quarter to get Cleveland on the board.
Back in action to start the second quarter was Eifert. After multiple changes in possession, the tight end snagged himself a second touchdown. Dalton's pass to Eifert went for a two-yard score to give the Bengals a 14-3 lead with 4:34 left in the first half.
Johnny Manziel gave the Browns life with a 12-yard passing touchdown to Duke Johnson Jr. with time winding down in the half.
While the offense struggled, Manziel was not too shabby. In his second season out of Texas A&M, the 22-year-old went 15-for-33 with 168 yards and a touchdown through the air. In his second start of the season, Manziel did not turn the ball over.
Heading into the halftime locker room speeches, the Bengals owned a 14-10 lead.
The only score in the third quarter was a 28-yard field goal from Mike Nugent, which increased the Cincinnati lead to 17-10.
The fourth started and ended with the Bengals. As a matter of fact, it was all Bengals in the second half, but especially in the fourth quarter.
Mohamed Sanu carried the ball 25 yards into the end zone with 13:35 left in the game, which gave the Bengals a 14 point lead, 24-10.
Sanu's touchdown was excellent, but the lead runner was Giovani Bernard, who made 13 attempts for 72 yards. Jeremy Hill, chipped in with 15 carries for 52 yards.
Eifert was back at it, again. For the third time, the 25-year-old hooked up with Dalton for a score, this time a 19-yard touchdown to give the Bengals a 31-10 lead, which stuck until the final whistle.
Dalton, 28, completed 21-of-27 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns. The graduate of TCU was protected well by his offensive line judging by the fact that he was sacked twice for 15 yards in the victory.
With his three touchdowns on Thursday night, Dalton took the record for most passing touchdowns by a Bengals quarterback through eight games in a season with 18 touchdowns.
Besides Eifert, the other top receiver was Marvin Jones. The 25-year-old caught five passes for 78 yards. A.J. Green chipped in four catches for 53 yards.
On Thursday, the run game did not help Manziel. Isaiah Crowell carried the ball 10 times for a poor 38 yards and Manziel was second with four carries for 31 yards.
The Browns have dropped to last in the American Football Conference North, which is the division that the Bengals lead. Cincinnati is one-of-four teams to have an undefeated record, but they are the only at 8-0 after an outstanding 31-10 win over Cleveland.