Last Sunday's pair of questionable plays by Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict resulted in no suspension for the player who missed the first three games of the 2016 season.
The Cleveland Browns take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7 of NFL action.
Right tackle Eric Winston tells A.J. Green all the time that he’s the best player on the field "probably by a lot,’ and to go play it. On Sunday he told him that even before his Steve Sabol-NFL-Films tip-tip-catch masterpiece for a 48-yard Hail Mary touchdown on the last play of the first half kept the Browns’ hellish winless season alive for another week as the air-out-of-the balloon play in a 31-17 victory at sold-out Paul Brown Stadium.
On Thursday, Jeremy Hill celebrated his 24th birthday. On Sunday, he celebrated his first 100-yard rushing performance in 665 days. The third year running back finished with a career-high 168 yards on only 9 carries in Cincinnati’s 31-17 win over Cleveland.
Jeremy Hill had a career day Sunday against the Browns with 168 yards. The first thing Browns head coach Hue Jackson wanted to do in the last two seasons he was the Bengals offensive coordinator was run the ball. The second thing he wanted was a big back to make it come true and that's why he stood on the table for LSU's Jeremy Hill in the second round of the 2014 draft.
I’m pleased offensively with our guys protecting the football and doing things the right way. We’ve got to keep that up. It was an impressive job today and we need to continue to do that. Obviously, our downsides were a couple of missed field goals. We’ve got to do a better job with those. Defensively, playing the base offense we were in pretty good shape. Obviously, on the quarterback read and the quarterback runs, we missed a couple of times and it was a little different, so credit them for coming out and our guys adjusting a little bit, and were able to slow it down after the drive in the third quarter.
Tyler Eifert was in a good mood after playing in his first game action of 2016 in Sunday's 31-17 win against the Cleveland Browns. He underwent ankle surgery in May and was on track for a return to the field on Oct. 9 against Dallas, but injured his back in practice that week.
Quite simply, the big playmakers on the Cincinnati Bengals' offense turned in their biggest day of the year, creating highlight after highlight to wear the Cleveland Browns into submission, 31-17. First, Andy Dalton hit Brandon LaFell for a 44-yard touchdown. Then, A.J. Green hauled in a 48-yard Hail Mary as time expired in the first half.
Maybe the credit for Sunday’s 31-17 win belongs with the winless Browns. Perhaps facing the sixth Cleveland quarterback of the season when Cody Kessler went out with a concussion turned this Cincinnati task from easy to autopilot. Possibly the Bengals playing with seven healthy scratches against a club with 13 players on injured reserve and its top cornerback out borders on unfair. Or maybe employing A.J. Green is all that matters certain days.
During the third quarter of Sunday's 31-17 win, Jeremy Hill took a handoff and - instead of cutting up field - he bounced to the outside. He ended up with a one-yard gain, tossed down by Emmanuel Ogbah.
Rey Maualuga stopped in the middle of the locker room to have a conversation about Kevin Hogan when Domata Peko shouted to him – "Rey! We didn’t scout him!" Vinny Rey was asked if, when Hogan first appeared in the game for the Cleveland Browns and ran the read option, he and his defensive teammates were wondering, "Who is that?" "That’s exactly what we said."
Jeremy Hill is dancing again -- and so are the Cincinnati Bengals. And why shouldn’t they? It’s been a long time since the Bengals offense looked this good. Hill ran for a career high 168 yards and a touchdown, A.J. Green made circus catches, and the Bengals’ struggling offense reverted back to its 2015 form in a 31-17 rout of the winless Cleveland Browns (0-7, 0-2 AFC North).
AFC North Bytes
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown spent some time on the sidelines during Sunday's loss to the Patriots, with a leg injury. After the game, Brown explained why he was absent. He took a knee to the quad from a Patriots defender.
The Jets have dug themselves a big hole to start this season, but they took one step in the right direction on Sunday afternoon against the Ravens. The Jets defense shut out the Ravens in the second half and forced a pair of Joe Flacco interceptions that turned into 10 points that turned a 16-14 Ravens lead into a 24-16 Jets victory.
What do the numbers 72, 48, 48, 44 and 40 mean? No, not the winning numbers for the lottery, but a long day for the Browns defense. The Cincinnati Bengals lived by the big play all day in a 31-17 win over the Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals improved to 3-4, but the Browns dropped to 0-7. The Browns start is the worst start since the expansion Browns started 0-7 in 1999, getting their first win over the New Orleans Saints in week 8 in that season.
If you are reading this column, you are well aware that the NFL has suffered double-digit percentage viewership declines this season among its primetime games. What remains unknown are the causes of those declines, whether it be viewers flipping to cable news because of the presidential election, too much product available, a glut of bad games, a decline of star quarterbacks, a statement against players not standing for the national anthem, or something entirely different. Or maybe it’s due to a larger decline of sports consumption on television due to cord-cutting and other factors.
For their first five games, the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings were defined by their ability to hold onto the ball. On Sunday, they seemed to be competing to see who could give it away more.
Special teams! Chandler Catanzaro and Stephen Hauschka each made and then missed a field goal in overtime as the Arizona Cardinals (3-3-1) and Seattle Seahawks (4-1-1) played to a so-ugly-it's-beautiful 6-6 tie.
With Week 7 of the 2016 NFL season coming to a close, it's time to hand out some hardware. Which teams had the best performances Sunday? Which players deserve a shoutout? Watch as Bleacher Report Lead NFL Analyst Chris Simms hands out his Week 7 awards in the video above.
Keenum's four interceptions weren't enough to convince coach Jeff Fisher to make a change to Jared Goff, even with the team's bye week and a three-game losing streak.
Latavius Murray scored twice in his return from turf toe, and the Oakland Raiders handled listless Jacksonville 33-16 Sunday and gave coach Jack Del Rio a victory against his former team. Murray, who missed the past two games, finished with 59 yards on 18 carries. Michael Crabtree caught eight passes for 96 yards and a touchdown from Derek Carr, Sebastian Janikowski kicked four field goals and the Raiders played the kind of defense they've been looking for all season.
Week 7 of the NFL season is here, bringing highs, lows, and everything in between. And each Sunday, throughout the day, the Ringer staff will be celebrating the insane plays, admonishing the colossal blunders, and explaining the inexplicable moments of the NFL season. Welcome to Winners and Losers. Which one are you?