Cleveland Browns top Cincinnati Bengals 26-18 in final home game of season

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CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 23: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns reacts after a 26-18 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland Browns heated things up at First Energy Stadium Sunday took the W against the Cincinnati Bengals during the final home game of the season.

The Browns maintained a strong lead throughout the game, although neither team managed to put points on the board during the first quarter.

However, during the second quarter QB Baker Mayfield showed Cleveland that, per usual, he’s “dangerous.”

The Browns were first to score during Sunday’s game when Mayfield sent a pass to tight end David Njoku for goal.

Then the Browns scored again when Mayfield threw a pass to tight end Darren Fells.

Cleveland then increased their lead with 14 seconds to play in the second quarter as placekicker Greg Joseph made a 37-yard-field goal.

The Browns led the Bengals 16-0 at the half.

Cleveland continued to hold the Bengals scoreless through the third quarter, increasing their lead 23-0 after wide receiver Rashard Higgins scored a touchdown on a 17-yard pass from Mayfield.

Cincinnati was first to put points on the board during the fourth quarter.  Placekicker Randy Bullock made a 51-yard field goal. The Browns led the Bengals 23-3 at this point.

However, the Browns responded to the Bengals score with a field goal of their own, courtesy of Joseph.

Then Cincinnati responded with their first touchdown of the game, raising the score 26-10 with Cleveland still in the lead.

However, they didn’t stop there. The Bengals scored another touchdown and attempted a two-point conversion which was successful.

Although the point gap had decreased, the Browns topped the Bengals 26-18.

The Cleveland Browns were officially eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday night as the Tennessee Titans beat the Washington Redskins 25-16. Despite that, the Browns still have a lot to play for with two games remaining, including one on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Browns finished the season with a 6-2 record over the final 8 games and are looking to finish with a winning record in the AFC North Division and they are looking to finish the season overall with a winning record; you would have to go back to 2007 the last time that happened. The Browns went 10-6 that year and missed out on the playoffs.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield, who called out the fans after the Carolina Panthers game, played his final home game as a rookie in front of a sold out crowd. He has one simple goal for the rest of the season and he wants his teammates on board.

“We want to win our last two games,” Mayfield said. “If the guys on this team don`t want to do that, then you can get out. That is quite frankly how I feel. We have a lot of guys that are playing on their contract year. That also does not need to be a distraction. You need to go out and do your job. The best thing that we can do right now is winning football.”

The Browns did something on Sunday that they haven’t done since 2002 — sweep the Cincinnati Bengals during the regular season. Cleveland beat Cincinnati on 35-20 back in November in Cincinnati.

Sunday also marked the first time former coach Hue Jackson returned as an opponent.

The former Browns coach is the Special Assistant to the Bengals’ head coach.

The Browns defeated the Bengals in Cincinnatti in Week 12.

Cleveland will wrap up their 2018 regular season next Sunday at Baltimore.

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