CLEVELAND – The winless Browns trail Cincinnati 14-7 at halftime at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
The Browns tied the game at 7 on a deep touchdown, but the Bengals capitalized on a long punt return late in the second quarter to take a lead into intermission.
Andy Dalton found receiver A.J. Green from 4 yards for a touchdown after safety Usama Young fell down in the end zone. The Cincinnati drive was set up by a 32-yard punt return from Brandon Tate.
The Bengals (3-2) started on the 27-yard line, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 20 yards to the 7.
The Browns (0-5) had tied the game and provided a jolt to the crowd with a 71-yard touchdown from Brandon Weeden to rookie receiver Josh Gordon.
On third-and-8, Gordon ran across the field, then cut deep and blew by safety Reggie Nelson. Weeden had plenty of time in a clean pocket and lofted a nice ball. Gordon reached out with his right hand and hauled it into his body, then finished the touchdown by sprinting into the end zone.
Gordon’s last three catches have gone for touchdowns, including a 62-yarder last week in a loss to the Giants – his first score in the NFL.
Cornerback Joe Haden, who returned from a four-game suspension, made two plays on third down to end Bengals drives. He tackled running back Brian Leonard after a completion and broke up a pass that was almost an interception.
The Bengals had a final possession that ended when Dalton couldn’t spike the ball in time to get a field-goal try.
He completed a 26-yard pass to Green – Buster Skrine and Haden were in position to break it up – to the 15-yard line as the Bengals rushed to line up and kill the clock. Dalton got the snap with a second left and the clock hit 0:00 with the spike. The play to Green began with 19 seconds left and the Bengals were out of timeouts.