Browns
Bengals
14 - 19 Final
  for this game

Bengals keep Browns from clinching playoff spot

Dec 24, 2007 - 4:08 AM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Kenny Watson made sure the Cleveland Browns did not clinch a playoff berth on the Cincinnati Bengals' home field.

Starting in place of injured Rudy Johnson, Watson rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown as the Bengals held on to defeat the rival Browns, 19-14, on Sunday.

"I take pride in doing anything they ask me to do and doing it well," Watson said. "When I came out for warm-ups and saw the wind, I knew it was going to be a two-chin stamp game and we were going to have to run the ball."

Cleveland (9-6) entered the contest needing a victory to secure its first playoff berth since 2002. But the Bengals (6-9) spoiled those hopes by avenging a 51-45 loss in Cleveland during Week Two.

The loss also locked up the AFC North Division title for the Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5). Cleveland failed to clinch a wild card when the Tennessee Titans beat the New York Jets, 10-6.

"We had two goals," Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said. "One was to win the game and the other was to keep them from clinching a playoff spot on our field."

The Titans can wrap up the final playoff slot and eliminate the Browns with a win over the Indianapolis Colts next week. If Tennessee and Cleveland both lose, the Browns get the final berth.

The Browns had one last chance to wrap up a postseason berth on their own when Watson fumbled on the Cleveland 17-yard line with 1:55 remaining.

"I knew they were going to be slapping and grabbing at the football," Watson said. "I have to take better care of the football. I was a little nervous after the fumble but I had confidence in our defense. It is a team game and they picked me up."

"Those are the kind of things that haunted us all year," Lewis said. "We overcame some adverse plays and situations."

Browns quarterback Derek Anderson, who made his first career start against the Bengals in the first meeting, drove the Browns to the Cincinnati 29.

But Anderson's last-ditch pass to a wide-open Kellen Winslow in the end zone with one second left was off the mark.

"Our guys made a valiant effort in the second half trying to make a game of it," Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel said. "We were not able to get it done today. It's disappointing, realizing what was on the line and what was at stake."

A 45 mile-per-hour wind had a chilling effect on the offenses which combined for 96 points in the first meeting between the teams.

"The wind played a big part in the game," Lewis said.

"I haven't spoken with Derek (Anderson) but I think the wind had something to do with it," Crennel said. "He threw four interceptions, and Carson Palmer is a pretty good quarterback himself and I think the wind affected some of his throws."

The Bengals took a 6-0 lead in the second quarter as kicker Shayne Graham kicked field goals of 29 and 38 yards. Graham set the Bengals' single-season record with his second field goal, which gave him 30 on the season.

Cincinnati rookie safety Chinedum Ndukwe intercepted Anderson with 1:37 left in the first half and returned it 44 yards to the Browns 5-yard line.

Injuries to starting safeties Madieu Williams and Dexter Jackson forced Cincinnati to go with an inexperienced defensive backfield.

Ndukwe was a teammate of the Browns' first-round draft choice Brady Quinn in high school and in college at Notre Dame. Fellow rookies Leon Hall and Marvin White, along with second-year player Johnathan Joseph, formed the young secondary on Sunday.

"I've said since they've been here that they will be fine NFL players," Lewis said. "They played the ball well and they also tackled well."

"We are like Batman and Robin," said White of himself and roommate Ndukwe. "He's big and physical and I can run and cover."

Ndukwe intercepted a pass that White tipped to end Cleveland's opening drive of the second half at the Bengals 9-yard line. White previously had started a game, but this was Ndukwe's first start.

"The wait was worth it," Ndukwe said. "It took a while. It bodes well for the type of things we bring to the table for the future. I just tried to read the quarterback."

Palmer then connected with T.J. Houshmandzadeh on the next play for the first touchdown of the game.

Hall promptly picked off Anderson on the Browns' next possession and returned it 12 yards to the Cleveland 20. It was Hall's fifth interception of the season, setting a team rookie record.

Palmer then found tight end Reggie Kelly with a pass to the 1-yard line, and Watson ran it in on the next play to give Cincinnati a 19-0 lead at the half after the two-point conversion attempt failed.

Palmer finished 11-of-21 for 115 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

The Browns finally got on the board when Anderson threw a 2-yard TD pass to Braylon Edwards with 40 seconds left in the third quarter.

Edwards then caught his 15th TD pass of the season when he caught a 5-yard scoring strike from Anderson with 5:57 left.

Anderson finished 29-for-48 for 250 yards with two TD passes and four interceptions. Running back Jamal Lewis carried 21 times for 92 yards.






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    Browns vs. BengalsDec 23 6:23 PM
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  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CLEVELAND 0 0 7 7 14
    CINCINNATI 0 19 0 0 19 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: CIN - FG, SHAYNE GRAHAM 29 YD, 2:08. Drive:
    10 plays, 69 yards in 5:09. Key
    plays: Palmer 20-yard pass to
    Houshmandzadeh on 3rd-and-4 to
    Cincinnati 46; Watson 11-yard run


    Dec 23 4:05 PM
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    Browns vs. BengalsDec 23 3:54 PM
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  • 34
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    RUWTbot Added 19 roots (Close Finish)

    Browns vs. BengalsDec 23 3:49 PM


  • NFL
    TD CLE
    BRAYLON EDWARDS 5 YD PASS FROM DEREK ANDERSON
    (PHIL DAWSON KICK)
    CLEVELAND 14
    CINCINNATI 19 5:57 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Browns vs. BengalsDec 23 3:45 PM


  • NFL
    CLEVELAND 7
    CINCINNATI 19 0:00 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Dec 23 3:21 PM


  • NFL
    TD CLE
    BRAYLON EDWARDS 2 YD PASS FROM DEREK ANDERSON
    (PHIL DAWSON KICK)
    CLEVELAND 7
    CINCINNATI 19 0:40 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Browns vs. BengalsDec 23 3:11 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CLEVELAND 0 0 0
    CINCINNATI 0 19 19 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: CIN - FG, SHAYNE GRAHAM 29 YD, 2:08. Drive:
    10 plays, 69 yards in 5:09. Key
    plays: Palmer 20-yard pass to
    Houshmandzadeh on 3rd-and-4 to
    Cincinnati 46; Watson 11-yard ru

    Dec 23 2:31 PM


  • NFL
    TD CIN
    KENNY WATSON 1 YD RUN
    (TWO-POINT CONVERSION FAILED)
    CLEVELAND 0
    CINCINNATI 19 0:26 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Browns vs. BengalsDec 23 2:28 PM


  • NFL
    TD CIN
    T.J. HOUSHMANDZADEH 5 YD PASS FROM CARSON PALMER
    (SHAYNE GRAHAM KICK)
    CLEVELAND 0
    CINCINNATI 13 1:05 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Browns vs. BengalsDec 23 2:21 PM


  • NFL
    TWO MINUTE WARNING, 1ST HALF
    CLEVELAND 0
    CINCINNATI 6
    CIN BALL ON CIN 12 YD LINE
    2ND AND 7

    Browns vs. BengalsDec 23 2:16 PM


  • NFL
    FG CIN
    SHAYNE GRAHAM 29 YD
    CLEVELAND 0
    CINCINNATI 3 12:52 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Browns vs. BengalsDec 23 1:37 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CLEVELAND 0 0
    CINCINNATI 0 0 END, 1ST QTR

    Dec 23 1:31 PM
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