Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden recovered from underwhelming NFL debuts with two touchdowns each, but it wasn't enough to drop the Cincinnati Bengals, who prevailed 34-27 at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday.
Richardson scored on a 32-yard gain in the second quarter and again on a 23-yard pass from Weeden in the third quarter while Weeden went for 322 yards and no interceptions.
The Browns moved the ball well in Week 2 and limited their turnovers following an ugly game against Philadelphia in the season opener. They put up 398 yards as the run game came alive at the hands of Richardson, who produced 109 yards on the ground off 19 carries. He also had four receptions for 36 yards.
But long touchdown passes came back to haunt Cleveland, as did one botched play in punt coverage. The Browns gave up a 44-yard pass from Dalton to Brandon Tate in the third quarter and a 50-yard pass to Andrew Hawkins with 10:44 to play in the fourth. Adam Jones scored less than two minutes into the game with an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown.
The big winner: Andy Dalton
The Bengals quarterback threw for 318 yards to lead his team to a rebound victory following the Week 1 disappointment against the Baltimore Ravens. He had three touchdowns and one interception on the afternoon.
The big loser: Cleveland's special teams
Had it not been for punt coverage that couldn't get a handle on Pacman Jones after Cleveland's first offensive possession, this would've been a game considering the great games by both Richardson and Weeden. Both teams had 21 first downs, and the Browns put up 439 offensive yards to the Bengals' 375.
Odds: The oddsmakers were spot on in this one. The Bengals came in as seven-point favorites and left as such.
What's on the schedule?
The Browns have a home date with the Buffalo Bills on tap while Cincinnati heads to FedEx Field to take on the Washington Redskins next week.
Check out Dawgs By Nature for more updates on the Cleveland Browns. You can also hit up SB Nation's NFL hub. Check out SB Nation's fantasy hub for analysis to help out your fantasy team.