Bengals beat Browns in season finale; AFC North sets post-merger record

OHIO — The Cincinnati Bengals (9-8) beat the Cleveland Browns (11-6) Sunday at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, 31-14.

Cleveland and Cincinnati ended the season 1-1 in Battle of Ohio matchups.

>>RELATED: Bengals, Browns conclude regular season in ‘Battle of Ohio’ matchup

According to the AP, the Bengals got an easy win over the Browns as the team is resting most of its starts for the playoffs.

The Cleveland Browns said this allowed many of their younger players and backups to have a chance to gain game reps.

Bengals quarterback Jake Browning threw three touchdown passes and running back Joe Mixon rushed for a season-high 111 yards and scored.

Browns quarterback Joe Flacco, star defensive end Myles Garrett, receiver Amari Cooper, and cornerback Denzel Ward were some of the team’s starters who didn’t play, according to the AP.

>>RELATED: Browns to sit Joe Flacco for Sunday’s regular-season finale against Bengals

At halftime, the Bengals led 24-0 and the Browns didn’t put up any points until the fourth quarter.

Browns quarterback Jeff Driskel, who signed to the team on Dec. 29 from the Arizona Cardinal’s practice squad, threw two touchdown passes to David Bell, according to the AP.

Both teams dealt with many injuries over the season. Both the Browns and the Bengals lost their starting quarterbacks.

>>RELATED: Browns lose QB Deshaun Watson to season-ending shoulder surgery

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Despite injuries across the roster, the Bengals still finished above .500 for the third straight season, according to the AP.

AFC North became the first division to have all its teams finish the regular season with winning records, since the 1970 merger, the AP reported.

The Cincinnati Bengals finished 1-5 against divisional foes.

In the first quarter, Mixon made his 49thcareer 1-yard rushing touchdown. This was his ninth of the season, according to the AP.

This play moves Mixon to No. 2 on the Bengals’ all-time list behind Pete Johnson’s 64. He also finished with 1,034 yards rushing, his fourth time in seven seasons topping the 1,000-yard mark.

>>RELATED: Bengals look to ‘find a way to win’ Sunday when they host Browns, says Coach Taylor

Browning finished 4-3 as the Bengals’ starting quarterback. Against Cleveland, he passed 156 yards before being relieved after three quarters by AJ McCarron, according to the AP.

Bengals wide receiver Andrei Iosivas caught two touchdown passes.

Browns Driskel had 166 yards passing, 111 in the fourth quarter, and two interceptions, the Cleveland Browns reported.

>>RELATED: Bengals make roster moves ahead of Sunday game

>>RELATED: Browns make roster moves ahead of season-finale matchup

According to the AP, the following players were injured and/or evaluated for injuries during Sunday’s game:

In the second quarter, Browns defensive tackle Shelby Harris suffered a shin injury and didn’t return.

Browns Linebacker Mohamoud Diabate left with a thumb injury in the second half.

Browns running back Pierre Strong Jr. left the game with a thumb injury and wide receiver Cedric Tillman was evaluated for a head injury.


Next weekend, the Browns will travel to Houston, Texas to play against AFC South champion Houston Texans in the wild-card playoff round, as the Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, the Cleveland Browns reported.

This win closes out the season for the Bengals.

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