Haden wins battle vs. Green
CLEVELAND – Round four goes to Joe Haden.
Matching up for a fourth time against Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green, the Browns cornerback couldn’t have played much better. Green was targeted 15 times by quarterback Andy Dalton, catching seven for 51 yards. There were times when Green appeared frustrated.
“I look forward to it,” Haden said of his encounters with the Bengals’ first-round draft choice of 2011. “When you’re going against the best you have to bring your ‘A’ game. Everybody on Instagram and Twitter lets me know I have A.J. as soon as Sunday is over.
“It’s a good battle. I like him as a person. When we get out on that field, he wants to get the best (of me), and I want to get the best of him. It’s a really good competition.”
Haden, who played at Florida, faced Green, a Georgia product, in college.
“This was the best game I’ve played against him, besides at Florida,” Haden said.
ON FIRE: Browns tight end Jordan Cameron added 10 receptions and 91 yards to his season totals, which are now 30 catches for 360 yards and five touchdowns. Cameron pulled the ball away from Taylor Mays on a fade route on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Brian Hoyer.
“It was a great pass,” Cameron said. “We had a guy on me that wasn’t looking. He kind of threw it to the back of his head. We work on that kind of stuff.”
NOT BOTHERED: Kicker Billy Cundiff was less than 100 percent in dealing with a quadriceps injury suffered a week earlier. He didn’t use that as an excuse for pulling a 37-yard attempt wide left. He had a 49-yard attempt partially blocked, but he made a 51-yard kick in the third quarter. Prior to the kick he slipped and fell taking a practice swing.
“The first miss had nothing to do with my leg,” Cundiff said. “I consider that a mental mistake. I got rushed and pushed it a little bit left. Statistically I’m 1-for-3, but the way I view it is I’m 3-for-4.”
In Cundiff’s math, he missed the first one. He then made the initial try on the 49-yarder, only to have it negated by a Bengals’ timeout. He felt the next attempt, which was blocked, would have been good, and he then made the 51-yard try.
Punter Spencer Lanning handled all kick offs.
PICKING IT UP: Running back Willis McGahee looked much better in his second week with the Browns. McGahee, who was signed three days before the game against the Minnesota Vikings, had 46 yards on 15 carries. He showed power on consecutive runs of 9, 3 and 9 yards, taking the ball to the Bengals’ 1. Chris Ogbonnaya caught a 1-yard touchdown pass on the next play.
McGahee was admittedly rusty against the Vikings, rushing for just 9 yards.
“It shows we can get the job done when it comes down to crunch time,” McGahee said. “That’s just a stepping stone. When you get it into your head that you can go out there and do that, the sky is the limit.”
SPARK PLUG: That’s the image of Hoyer that keeps surfacing when talking to his teammates.
“He’s really really confident,” Haden said. “He comes to the sideline talking to our ‘D,’ talking in our face, smacking me on my butt like, ‘come on Joe, let’s go.’ I’m like, ‘okay, let’s keep it going.’ “
BINGO MINGO: Rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo was noticeable. On one sequence he had a 1-yard sack of Dalton followed by a 2-yard takedown of running back Giovani Bernard.
INJURY REPORT: The Browns suffered no injuries of note.
NOT THIS WEEK: Guard Shawn Lauvao practiced last week but wasn’t able to answer the call at right guard because of an ankle injury. Oniel Cousins started a fourth straight game in Lauvao’s place.
As expected, linebacker Jabaal Sheard was out with a knee injury. Mingo was given his first start.
INACTIVES: Out for the Browns were quarterback Brandon Weeden; linebacker Quentin Groves; offensive linemen Martin Wallace and Lauvao; tight end Keavon Milton and Sheard.
Out for the Bengals were safety Reggie Nelson; cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick and Leon Hall; H-back Rex Burkhead; guards Mike Pollak and Tanner Hawkinson and defensive end Margus Hunt.
Adam Jones started in place of Hall. Mays started at free safety for Nelson.