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On the short end again

September 16, 2012 - Mike McLain
CINCINNATI -- The Browns' record slipped to 0-2 Sunday with a 34-27 loss to the Bengals despite a 322-yard passing effort by rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden and a 109-yard rushing effort by rookie running back Trent Richardson.

Those offensive exploits couldn't counteract the fine play of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who passed for 318 yards and four touchdowns. The Bengals jumped ahead with an 81-yard punt return by Adam Jones in the first quarter and never trailed.

Weeden made an outstanding recovery from the previous week when he posted a 5.1 passer rating against the Eagles. Other than a couple of overthrows Weeden was sharp most of the game. He threw touchdown passes of 23 yards to Richardson and 24 yards to Greg Little.

“I wish I had a dollar for every hour I put in this week,” Weeden said. “I busted my tail off and really dissected what we do. I felt pretty confident out there. For the most part it was a lot better than last week, but there’s still a sour taste.

“You have to make plays here and there. That’s what I was talking to (Bengals quarterback) Andy Dalton about after the game. This league is about one play, two plays here, and that’s the deciding factor. As a team we still have a long way to go, but we’re definitely taking steps in the right direction.”

Richardson also shook off a poor showing against the Eagles. In addition to the touchdown reception, he ran 32 yards on a draw play for a touchdown.

The Bengals led 7-3 after the first quarter and 17-10 at halftime. Ben Tate stretched the lead to 24-10 with a 44-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter, but Richardson answered with his 23-yard scoring reception.

Andrew Hawkins' catch and run for a 50-yard touchdown gave the Bengals a 31-17 lead. Weeden responded with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Greg Little.

The Bengals sealed the win with a 37-yard field goal by Mike Nugent with 2:09 remaining in the fourth quarter.


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