CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Baker Mayfield finally had a breakout game, and the Browns needed it. Mayfield completed 22 of 28 throws for 297 yards and five touchdowns in a 37-34 win in Cincinnati.
Mayfield’s fifth touchdown came with 11 seconds left. On a 2nd and 10 at the Bengal 24 yard line, Mayfield unleashed a throw down the right sideline that rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones hauled in and got his feet inbounds to make it count. It completed a five play, 75 yard drive that took only 55 seconds.
The Browns took over with just over a minute to play trailing 34-31 after Joe Burrow lead what looked like would be his own game winning drive. Burrow threw a three yard touchdown pass to Gio Bernard on 4th down to give the Bengals a three point lead.
Both Mayfield and Burrow were fantastic. Mayfield threw for a career-high five touchdowns. Burrow passed for 406 yards and three scores.
The fourth quarter was a back-and-forth quarter. The Browns and Bengals traded touchdowns on the first three possessions. After the Browns took a 24-20 lead, Joe Burrow lead Cincinnati on a scoring drive that covered 80 yards and finished with a Tee Higgins 15 yard touchdown reception. Terrance Mitchell dropped an interception on the drive.
After a slow start, Baker Mayfield heated up. And quickly. Riding a string of completed passes, he hit his 15th in row when he got it to David Njoku in the end zone to put the Browns up 24-20. Njoku made a diving catch with Vonn Bell defending.
Mayfield needed a strong drive to start the second half and he got just that, with an assist from rookie tight end Harrison Bryant. Mayfield completed five throws, three to Bryant, on a 75 yard drive for a touchdown to tie the game at 17. Bryant hauled in a six yard score to complete the drive after already catching passes for 35 and 12 yards.
The hot streak for Mayfield came after a first quarter in which he did not complete a pass.
Randy Bullock put the Bengals back on top 20-17 on the ensuing drive, hitting a 23 yard field goal. Denzel Ward knocked a third down pass out of the hands of AJ Green that would have gone for a touchdown.
Right before the half Joe Burrow lead the Bengals on a touchdown drive that resulted in a Tyler Boyd touchdown catch that put Cincinnati up 17-10.
On the Browns first drive of the second quarter Mayfield completed all five of this throws for 49 yards, leading an 11 play, 75 yard march that ended in a Harrison Bryant three yard touchdown catch to tie the game at 10.
The first quarter was full of drama for the Browns and none of it was good. A turnover, injuries and a four point deficit.
The teams traded interceptions in the first quarter. BJ Goodson intercepted Burrow in the end zone after Denzel Ward tipped a pass that was headed towards and open Tyler Boyd for a touchdown.
Two plays later Baker Mayfield was intercepted by Darius Phillips on what was a very costly play for the Browns. Both Odell Beckham, Jr and J.C. Tretter went down with knee injuries on the play. Beckham went to the locker room and was originally labeled as questionable to return with a left knee injury. He was later downgraded to out for the game. He has also been dealing with turf toe. Tretter returned to action on the next drive.
The Browns did manage a drive for a field goal when Myles Garrett set the offense up with a short field. He stripped Burrow of the ball and Ronnie Harrison recovered it in Bengal territory. Five plays later Cody Parkey split the uprights from 42 yards out.
The Browns are looking to win their fourth game in five tries against the Bengals on Sunday. They beat them 35-30 in Week 2, split the series last year and won both match ups in 2018. It is a 1 p.m. ET kick off at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals are 1-4-1, the Browns enter at 4-2, seeing their four game winning streak snapped last week against Pittsburgh.
Mayfield is searching for not only a bounce-back game but also a break out game. He threw two interceptions in the loss to Pittsburgh and has not had a big game yet in 2020, passing for under 200 yards in four of his six games.
Burrow continues to impress as a rookie, but also continues to be harassed by defenses. He is on pace to be sacked more than 60 times. Expect Myles Garrett and company to disrupt the pocket again today.
Both teams will be without their top running backs. Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon was ruled out for Week 7 with a foot injury. The Browns have been without Nick Chubb for weeks because of a knee injury. Giovanni Bernard is expected to be the top runner for the Bengals this week, the Browns will be content to continue handing the ball to Kareem Hunt.