The Browns, who have been enthusiastically digging into their bag of tricks recently, attempted an onside kick following Jordan Cameron's touchdown reception that gave Cleveland a 7-0 first quarter lead. George Iloka covered the football (after being pegged by the actual kick), giving Cincinnati great field position from their own 47-yard line. Cincinnati opened with a four-yard BenJarvus Green-Ellis gain and a Giovani Bernard ten-yard reception on a flair out of the backfield to the Browns 39-yard line.
After that, it was Barkevious Mingo who dropped a scrambling Andy Dalton for a one-yard loss, followed by significant disruption on second down that led to Giovani Bernard losing two yards. Bengals have third and 13 from the Browns 42-yard line as the second quarter begins. Despite Jermaine Gresham falling two yards shy of the first down on the 11-yard gain, Desmond Bryant was flagged for illegal hands to the face, giving Cincinnati a new set of downs at the Browns 37-yard line.
On first and ten with 14:39 remaining in the second, A.J. Green disrupted a deep pass that nearly turned into an interception. Following a five-yard Tyler Eifert gain, the Bengals have third and five from the Browns 32-yard line. Mohamed Sanu picked up the first down with a quick out and gained seven yards and the first down. An overthrow to Jermaine Gresham and scramble later, the Bengals have another first down at Cleveland's 15-yard line.
The red zone attack didn't work out. After consecutive Giovani Bernard gains and a limited one-yard gain by A.J. Green on third and three from the Browns eight-yard line, Mike Nugent was forced to convert the 25-yard field goal.