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Instant analysis after Bengals get dismantled by Browns in Week 9

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The Cincinnati Bengals moved the record to 5-4 with Sunday’s 41-16 loss with the Cleveland Browns visiting Paul Brown Stadium.

That first of two Battle of Ohio games featured a host defense struggling to get much of anything going and a high-potential offense simply struggling to compensate.

Here’s a look at some quick notes and key things to know exiting the game.

Quick Hits

— Cincinnati’s first drive started great but slowly devolved into total disaster, capped off by Joe Burrow staring down Ja’Marr Chase and throwing a pick the Browns took back 99 yards for a touchdown. That was, indeed, a sign of things to come.

— Almost as expected, Burrow didn’t really let the big mistake rattle him though, as he immediately led a scoring drive down the field next time out, capped off by a Joe Mixon running touchdown. On that note though, the Bengals just aren’t getting much of anything going when they try to run the football, which defenses are starting to figure out.

— Complete chaos for the Bengals from there. Cleveland’s offense did whatever it wanted and Cincinnati mistakes didn’t help. A quick offensive turnover saw Eli Apple get burnt for a deep score on the very next play. Next time out, Chase fumbled and the Browns marched down the field again to make it 24-7.

— Defensively, missed tackles are inexplicable at his point of the season. But Lou Anarumo’s scheme, which includes dropping defensive ends into coverage, certainly didn’t help.

— Cleveland ended this one in the third quarter as the defense missed two tackles on Nick Chubb, who took it 70 yards for a score to make it 31-10. This, from the play call itself to the effort when it comes to getting off blocks and making a tackle, is borderline embarrassing:

— Anarumo and the defense have some serious soul searching to do over the bye week, to say the least.

— More on that as the game continued — Cleveland just kept attacking on the ground with little, little resistance.

Key Stat

7.8: Yards per play for the Cleveland offense. We could pull a ton of numbers here, like how the Bengals dominated time of possession and did little with it, or the turnovers, but the reality is every team will beat the Bengals when the unit basically averages surrendering first-down yardage on a per-play basis.

Game Ball

RB Joe Mixon: The lead man in the backfield did everything he could with his limited looks, rushing for 64 yards and two scores on a 4.9 per-carry average. He also caught five passes for 46 yards.

Top Takeaway

Disaster: That’s the one-word takeaway, folks. A team that fancies itself a contender can’t give up 400-plus passing yards to a backup Jets quarterback in a loss, then come out and look like this at home against a 4-4 team. Everything, top to bottom, needs to be re-evaluated by this team during the bye.

List

Bengals vs. Browns game recap: Everything we know