Dalton threw an interception, fumbled and was sacked twice as Cleveland (2-2) out gained the Bengals (2-2) 336-266. On the ground Cincinnati mustered just 63 yards with Giovani Bernard leading the way with 37.
The first drives for each team showcased the talents of their punters, but on the second drive, the Cleveland offense found its groove. Starting at their own five yard line the Browns worked their way out with an 11-yard run by Chris Ogbonnaya. The big play came when Brian Hoyer threw a short toss to Travis Benjamin who then took it 39 yards to the Bengals 22. Hoyer then connected with Devon Bess for 17 yards and capped the drive with a touchdown pass to Jordan Cameron for his fifth touchdown reception of the year.
The Bengals took advantage of a short kick by Cleveland and worked their way down to the Browns 8-yard line, but were stopped on third down and settled for a short field goal from Mike Nugent. The score remained 7-3 as the Browns missed two field goals, including one right before the half, and the Bengals were stopped on fourth and one from the Cleveland 7-yard line.
The second half started poorly for the Bengals as Dalton was sacked by Chris Owens who also scooped up the fumble on the play that set Cleveland up near mid field. A illegal block set the Browns back and they ended up punting as did the Bengals on their next drive. Third time was a charm for Billy Cundiff who finally made his first field goal of the day, a 51-yarder, to extend the Browns lead to 10-3.
Tyler Eifert helped start the Bengals next drive as he took in a 29 yard pass and then an unnecessary roughness penalty put the Bengals in Browns territory. Cincinnati was able to also pick up a fourth and one on a run by Dalton. It looked as though A.J. Green picked it up on the previous play, but a challenge from the Browns led to a change in the spot of the ball. The Bengals finally sputtered once again and they called on Nugent for his second field goal to make it 10-6.
Cincinnati was forced to punt on its first drive of the fourth quarter, but the Browns were much more fortunate in their first possession of the final frame. During that drive Vontaze Burfict was forced to leave the game with a neck injury. He led the team in tackles with 14 on the day.
Cincinnati could have used him on the next play, a third and one, but instead Ogbonnaya was able to pick up two yards to keep the drive alive. A 31-yard hook-up between Hoyer and Cameron put Cleveland deep into Bengals territory. Three straight runs from Willis McGahee placed the Browns at the 1-yard line and then Hoyer connected with Ogbonnaya for the 1-yard touchdown.
The Bengals chance at a response was cut short when Dalton was picked off by Buster Skrine. Cincinnati's final drive ended on a fourth down incompletion to hand the Browns their second straight win.
Cincinnati returns home next week for a showdown with at Paul Brown Stadium with the New England Patriots (4-0) with kickoff set for 1:00 p.m. next Sunday.
Passing: CIN-Dalton (23-42, 206 yards, INT) CLE-Hoyer (25-38, 269 yards, 2TD)
Rushing: CIN-Bernard (10 carries, 37 yards) CLE-McGahee (15 carries, 46 yards)
Receiving: CIN-Jermaine Gresham (3 catches, 53 yards) CLE-Cameron (10 catches, 91 yards, TD)
Tackles: CIN-Burfict (14) CLE- D'Qwell Jackson, Craig Robertson (10)
Sacks: CIN-3 CLE-2
Turnovers: CIN-2 CLE-0