Bengals blank Browns, mock Manziel

Bengals blank Browns, mock Manziel 

Posted: 4:14 pm Sunday, December 14th, 2014

By John Boyle

The Cincinnati Bengals spoiled Johnny Manziel’s starting debut and avenged the dismal loss they suffered against the Cleveland Browns last month with a 30-0 victory Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

The Bengals intercepted Manziel twice, sacked him three times and limited the rookie to 10 of 18 passing for 80 yards and a passer rating of 27.3.

The Browns managed only 107 yards of total offense in what was almost the complete opposite of what happened at Paul Brown Stadium on Nov. 6, when Cleveland held Cincinnati to 165 yards in a 24-3 victory.

Andy Dalton wasn’t much better Sunday than he was in the first meeting, completing 14 of 24 passes for 117 yards and a passer rating of 53.6. But Bengals running back Jeremy Hill gave the team all the offense it needed, scoring both touchdowns while gaining 148 yards on 25 carries.

Mike Nugent added field goals of 44, 44 and 34 yards, and Rex Burkhead scored on a 10-yard run with 23 seconds remaining for the first touchdown of his career.

The shutout was the team’s first since a 14-0 victory at Cleveland on Dec. 21, 2008. In fact, the last four shutouts the Bengals have had have all been in Cleveland (30-0 in 2006 and 21-0 in 1989).

The 107 yards allowed were the fewest since 1976 and third-lowest total in franchise history.

The win moves the Bengals to 9-4-1 and keeps them in first place in the AFC North Division, one-half game ahead of Baltimore and Pittsburgh.