CINCINNATI — D’Qwell Jackson crafted a memorable performance on a forgettable Sunday afternoon for the Browns’ defense.
The middle linebacker recorded a career-high three sacks to go along with one interception and two tackles for loss in Cleveland’s 34-27 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jackson became the first Brown to post three sacks in a game since Kenard Lang against Baltimore on Sept. 12, 2004. He also is their first player to collect multiple sacks and an interception since Randy Hilliard at New England on Sept. 8, 1991.
“D’Qwell is a great leader, an inspiring player, and he’s finding a way to be productive, which is a credit to him,” Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur said. “He’s as good as advertised.
“You’ve been hearing me talk about him for 18 months, and I didn’t even know him for the first six, so that should tell you how highly I think of him.”
One week earlier, Jackson recovered a fumble and returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown in the Browns’ 17-16 season-opening loss to Philadelphia. This is the first time in his career he has picked off passes in back-to-back games.
The seventh-year pro said he would gladly trade all of his positive stats for victories, but gave the Bengals credit for executing their simple game plan well.
“They ran a pretty vanilla offense, but (quarterback Andy) Dalton was able to escape and get away from the pressure,” Jackson said. “They were taking what the defense was giving, running a lot of 5-yard hitch routes, short routes and boots (bootlegs).
“I thought we played fairly well for the most part, but we just gave up too many points.”
Jackson also was unhappy with the number of self-inflicted wounds Cleveland committed with 10 penalties for 103 yards, including a 15-yard personal foul he was called for midway through the opening quarter.
“My understanding is that you are allowed to jam a guy within 5 yards of the line, and I was clearly within the 5 yards,” the Browns’ defensive captain said, carefully avoiding direct criticism of the NFL’s replacement referees.
Milestones and marks
- Trent Richardson rushed for 109 yards on 19 carries, becoming the first Browns rookie to reach the century mark since Lee Suggs gained 186 at Cincinnati on December 28, 2003. The No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft also scored his first two NFL touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving).
- Brandon Weeden threw for a Cleveland-rookie record 322 yards on 26 of 37 attempts, including his first two pro touchdowns and a 114.9 passer rating. The previous mark was 310 yards by Eric Zeier at Cincinnati on Oct. 29, 1995.
- Weeden and Richardson became the Browns’ first 300/100 combination since Derek Anderson and Jamal Lewis — also against the Bengals — on Sept. 16, 2007.
- Cleveland’s six sacks were its most since Dec. 10, 2009, when it registered eight against Pittsburgh.
- Browns running back Chris Ogbonnaya set career highs in receptions (six) and receiving yards (73), but lost a fumble in the second quarter.
- Cleveland wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi totaled 90 yards on five catches, his top output since a 115-yard game at Detroit on Nov. 22, 2009.
- Cornerback Sheldon Brown, who suffered a neck stinger against the Eagles, barely extended his consecutive games streak to 162. He played one snap, which resulted in Jackson’s interception.
- Defensive end Frostee Rucker, who spent the last six years with the Bengals, served as Cleveland’s fourth captain for the game. He had one sack and was booed by the crowd after each of his four tackles.
- Rookie defensive tackle John Hughes, who played collegiately at Cincinnati, got his first NFL sack.
- Scott Fujita made his season debut and started at strong-side linebacker. He made four tackles.
- Browns defensive tackle Billy Winn and tight end Alex Smith left the game with concussions in the first and fourth quarters, respectively. Both players walked off the field without aid. Defensive end Juqua Parker suffered a sprained foot in the third, forcing him to ride to the locker room on a cart. Shurmur offered no additional information on his status.
- Browns safety T.J. Ward will appear tonight from 7-9 p.m. at the Harry Buffalo restaurant in Elyria.