CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Bengals accomplished what they wanted to do on Sunday, finish the season with a winning record.
The Bengals beat the Cleveland Browns, 31-14, at Paycor Stadium and finished the season with a 9-8 record, but missed the playoffs.
It’s their third straight winning season. Every team in the AFC North finished the regular season with a record over .500. It’s the first time the NFL has had a division where every team has a winning record since 1935.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said after the game he was proud of the way his team finished the season on Sunday.
“That’s all we could control, how we came out, and playing with good energy. I thought in a lot of ways that’s what we did,” he said.
The Bengals finished the season with a 1-5 record in the AFC North. Taylor says that’s something they need to do better in the future.
“Our goals are to win the division and win the Super Bowl. You have to fare well in the division to get the best opportunity to do that,” said Taylor. “We have to do a better job of that going forward. It’s a tough division but going 1-5 in no way shape or form is acceptable for us.
Cincinnati led from start to finish going up 31-0 before the Browns got two David Bell touchdown catches in the second half.
Cleveland sat most of their key players after clinching a playoff spot.
Many of the Bengals’ key players accomplished their personal goals. Ja’Marr Chase became the third Bengal to have 100 catches and running back Joe Mixon ran for 111 yards for his fourth 1,000-yard season.
The Browns will play the Houston Texans in the Wildcard Round on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX.
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