Browns pound Bengals to open 2023 season in 100th ‘Battle of Ohio’

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns opened the 2023 season against their in-state rival Cincinnati Bengals and pounded them, 24-3, in the 100th regular season edition of the “Battle of Ohio.”

Both teams had to deal with rainy conditions Sunday afternoon at Cleveland Stadium but the Browns held up better and left the stadium with a 1-0 record while the Bengals fell to 0-1.

>>Bengals, Browns meet Sunday in 100th regular season ‘Battle of Ohio’ matchup

Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson ran and threw for a touchdown while Nick Chubb rushed for 106 yards.

Cleveland’s defense held the Bengals to six first downs and out of the end zone.

“To hold them to 143 yards, two of 15 on third down was very impressive,” said Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski. “So very proud of Jim (Schwartz) and his staff, the defensive staff, and the players. I thought they executed the game plan really well.”

Stefanski improves to 6-1 against the Bengals.

Cleveland rushed for 206 yards.

Newly acquired placekicker Dustin Hopkins went three-for-three on field goal attempts.

Grant Delpit had eight tackles to lead the team and Myles Garrett had a sack.

>>2023 Cleveland Browns Schedule

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow went 14 of 31 for 82 yards.

“We just didn’t play well enough,” said Bengals head Zac Taylor. “Didn’t handle the field position or the conditions well enough in the first half. I thought our defense gave us a winning performance. We just have to be better on offense and special teams.”

Burrow was pulled with 5:15 left and spent the rest of the game with his arm folded on the bench. He said nobody in the Bengals locker room is panicking after Sunday’s loss in Cleveland.

“Week 1 doesn’t define anybody’s season. Obviously, not very good out there. Anybody who watched saw that. But we’ve been in this spot before and we’ve come back stronger and had a great year. That’s what we are going to do.”

>>2023 Cincinnati Bengals Schedule

Cincinnati will look to bounce back on Sunday, September 17, when they host Baltimore at 1 p.m. at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. The game will be televised here on Channel 7.

Cleveland travels to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers for Monday Night Football on September 18 at 8:15 p.m. The game will be broadcast on 1290 and 95-7, WHIO.

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