Despite the Bengals claiming their second win this year during a fourth quarter thriller over the Green Bay Packers 34-30, Cincinnati unable to separate themselves in the standings with the Cleveland Browns stunning the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens thrashing the Houston Texans.
Baltimore secured a 30-9 win over the Houston Texans behind two unorthodox scores that began with a 37-yard Daryl Smith interception return for a touchdown, which gave Baltimore a 10-6 lead with over two minutes remaining in the first half. Houston attempted to score using a two-minute offense, but Haloti Ngata sacked Matt Schaub on second and seven from the Texans 35-yard line.
Following a two-yard loss on a dump off pass to Arian Foster, Shane Lechler punted the football 58 yards to the Ravens 18-yard line where Tandon Doss settled under the punt and returned it 82 yards for the touchdown and eventual 17-6 lead. Baltimore drove 80 yards on the first drive in the second half to extend their lead, 24-9, on a Bernard Pierce one-yard touchdown run. It was already over by this point.
Days after the team traded running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts, the Cleveland Browns won their first game of the season behind Jordan Cameron's seven-yard touchdown reception with 50 seconds remaining in the game, giving Cleveland a 31-27 lead and eventual win.
Despite trading away their best running back, Cleveland shattered Minnesota's pass defense. Brian Hoyer completed 30 of 54 passes, scoring three touchdowns. Josh Gordon was targeted 19 times, posting ten receptions for 146 yards receiving and scoring a first quarter touchdown to tie the game at seven. It was Campbell's three touchdowns, Minnesota's three turnovers, and the Browns holding Adrian Peterson to a 3.5 yard/rush average that broke Cleveland into the win column.
In a bit of irony, safety Josh Aubrey led the Browns with 34 yards rushing... on a fake punt.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will attempt to give the AFC North a perfect 4-0 when they host the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football.