And a late-quarter surge pushed the Browns to the brink of another score, with a second-and-goal play from the 1 set for the start of the fourth.
After Josh Gordon caught a 71-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Weeden on the first play of the second quarter, the Browns went seven straight drives without recording a first down, gaining a total of 21 yards.
The Browns did get back on the scoreboard, though, thanks to Josh Cribbs returning a Kevin Huber punt 60 yards to the Cincinnati 30. Three plays later, Phil Dawson beat the wind for a 41-yard field goal and a 14-10 deficit.
Haden then picked off Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton on the Bengals’ next drive and returned the ball 15 yards to Cincinnati’s 25, but again the Browns sputtered. Weeden took a sack on a play-action, third-and-one play to set up Dawson’s 38-yarder that cut the lead to 14-13.
After forcing another Bengals punt, the Browns drove 65 yards in nine plays to the Bengals’ 1. The drive included Brandon Weeden going 4-of-4 for 43 yards.
The Bengals’ offense struggled, too, in the third, with only one first down, a 12-yard pass from Dalton to Orson Charles.