CLEVELAND, Ohio – Brandon Weeden threw two touchdown passes as the Cleveland Browns scored 27 points in the second half, to beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 34-24. The Browns’ first win of the 2012 season, snapped a franchise record-tying 11-game losing streak, dating back to Nov. 20, 2011.
Weeden threw for 231-yards, including touchdown passes to fellow rookie, Josh Gordon, and veteran tight end Benjamin Watson. Montario Hardesty rushed for 56-yards, in place of injured starter Trent Richardson, who was sidelined by an abdominal injury shortly after halftime.
Joe Haden totaled seven tackles, along with an interception, and broke up three passes in his return to the lineup, after missing the last four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Sheldon Brown also intercepted Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton, and returned it 19-yards for a touchdown, giving the Browns a 34-17 lead with just under eight minutes remaining.
Dalton finished 31-46 for 381-yards and three touchdowns, but he also threw three costly interceptions, including one to Browns’ safety Usama Young with six seconds remaining.
In addition to snapping their 11-game losing streak, the Browns also beat the Bengals for the first time in five games, and won their first AFC North Divisional game in 12 tries, dating back to a win over Cincinnati on Oct. 3, 2010.
The Browns improve to 1-5 with the win. They travel to Indianapolis (2-3) next Sunday, Oct. 21st to face the 2012 #1 overall pick Andrew Luck and the Colts, who lost to the New York Jets, 35-9 on Sunday.
The Bengals fall to 3-3. They return home to host the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3) next Sunday.