CINCINNATI (AP) — Brandon Weeden had one of the most prolific games by a Browns rookie quarterback. Trent Richardson topped even Jim Brown for most versatile performance by a Cleveland rookie runner.
What did it get them? Just another loss. No surprise there, not in their intrastate rivalry.
Andy Dalton had another big game against the Browns, tying his career high with three touchdown passes, and Adam "Pacman" Jones ran Cleveland's first punt back 81 yards for another score on Sunday, leading the Cincinnati Bengals to a 34-27 victory in their lopsided rivalry.
Cincinnati (1-1) has won 13 of the last 16 against Cleveland (0-2), an eight-year run of dominance that spans a lot of quarterbacks and running backs but almost always comes out the same.
For the Bengals, it was a reassuring ending to a stressful week. They got blown out in Baltimore 44-13 Monday night, matching the most lopsided loss to open a season in team history. They looked so bad that they were a bit shaken.
"I think everybody was," coach Marvin Lewis said. "It's the opening game and you've been pointing to this game, it's Monday night football ... It has been a very tense week."
Jones relaxed them a bit with his fifth career punt return for a touchdown and his first since 2003 with Tennessee. He celebrated by wrapping himself around the padding on the goal post, holding on tightly for several seconds. It's the way he used to celebrate scores back when his troubled career was getting started.
"It just felt like home," Jones said. "I was back home."
From then on, two young quarterbacks tried to keep up with each other.
Weeden was coming off one of the worst debuts in NFL history, throwing four interceptions in a 17-16 loss to the Eagles that left him with a 5.1 passer rating. He started completing short, quick throws in the second quarter on Sunday and took apart a defense that's reeling.
Weeden went 26 of 37 for 322 yards — the most yards by a Browns rookie quarterback — and two touchdowns. His passer rating was an impressive 114.9, encouraging for a team that's been searching for a quarterback for a long time.
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