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23
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Cleveland 7 9 0 7 23
Cincinnati 13 7 3 10 33
33
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET18:00 GMT2:00 11:00 AM MST1:00 PM EST12:00 PM CT22:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00 , December 29, 2019
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio  Weather: 64°, Rain  Attendance: 47,759

Browns-Bengals Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals

  1. The Browns defeated the Bengals, 27-19, at home in Week 14, their third straight win over their in-state rivals (two at home and one on the road). Cleveland has not won four straight games over Cincinnati since a seven-game streak from 1992 to 1995. The Browns will also look to win back-to-back games in Cincinnati since the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
  2. The Browns were eliminated from playoff contention with a 31-15 loss to the Ravens in Week 16. Cleveland's streak of seasons without a playoff berth has reached 17 (since 2003), tied for the fifth longest in NFL history (the most recent streak of 17+ seasons was the Bills from 2000 to 2016).
  3. The Bengals locked up the first pick in the 2020 NFL draft after a 38-35 overtime loss to the Dolphins in Miami last week. Cincinnati has drafted first overall three times in its history, taking defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson in 1994, running back Ki-Jana Carter in 1995 and quarterback Carson Palmer in 2003.
  4. Andy Dalton threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns in the loss to the Dolphins. It was his sixth career four-TD passing game, the most by any Bengals quarterback all-time, and the 25th in team history. Cincinnati were 21-2-1 in the previous 24 games, with the most recent previous loss coming in 2007 (Carson Palmer had six passing TDs in a 51-45 loss to the Browns).
  5. Nick Chubb leads the NFL with 1453 rushing yards, 92 more than Christian McCaffery in second place. Chubb could become the fourth different Brown to lead the league in rushing yards in a season, joining Leroy Kelly (1968), Jim Brown (eight times) and Marion Motley (1950).
  6. Zac Taylor could become just the fifth coach in NFL history to lose 15 games in his first career season. Of those four other coaches, two were never again head coaches in the NFL after that first season (Cam Cameron with Miami in 2007 and Rod Rust with New England in 1990) and one went on to win multiple Super Bowls (Jimmy Johnson with Dallas in 1989). The other was Steve Spagnuolo with St. Louis in 2009.
Team Comparison

Cleveland
 
Cincinnati
20.8 Points 16.4
237.9 Pass Yds 253.6
121.8 Rush Yds 89.2
19 Takeaways 13
(AP Photo/David Richard)

CINCINNATI (AP) Yet another dismal season of professional football in Ohio concludes within the state's borders - a most appropriate finish for two franchise with more big questions down the road.

The Browns (6-9) and Bengals (1-14) get together at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday in what will likely be a final "Battle of Ohio" for some of the main participants.

"I understand the possibility of it," said Andy Dalton, finishing up his nine-year reign as the Bengals' franchise quarterback.

He's not alone on the cusp of change.

The Browns make the trek to the southern edge of the state with a head coach unsure whether he'll survive a first season that's been utterly disappointing. Cleveland was a chic Super Bowl pick after Baker Mayfield had an impressive rookie season and Odell Beckham Jr. joined the receiving group.

Mayfield regressed behind a struggling offensive line, and an injured Beckham made more news for his expensive watch than his touchdown catches. The team's 2-6 start sparked talk that Freddie Kitchens could be one-and-done.

Heading into the final game, he hadn't talked to ownership or the front office about his future.

"I have not gotten anything but total support from those guys," Kitchens said. "They want me doing my job, and that is what I am trying to do on an everyday basis."

And then there's the Bengals.

Oh, those Bengals.

Owner Mike Brown finally pulled the plug on coach Marvin Lewis after 16 seasons and hired Zac Taylor in a break from the team's past. The Bengals then plunged into a season that's been as bad as any in their 52-year history.

With only one win, Taylor's team will rank as one of their worst all time. The Bengals will pick first in the draft, giving them a chance to take Joe Burrow or another quarterback who will supplant Dalton.

For some, Paul Brown Stadium will be the end of the road.

DALTON'S FAREWELL

The second-round pick in 2011 took the Bengals to their best moments in the past three decades, leading them to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons. He set numerous club passing records but couldn't get them that elusive playoff win.

Dalton has one year left on his contract, so the Bengals could keep him to mentor a new quarterback through a rookie season. Or they could trade him to a team looking for an experienced quarterback.

Either way, it's his final game as the Bengals' franchise quarterback.

"It's not the end of my career," Dalton said. "Obviously a lot of our lives have been here in Cincinnati. And again, we don't know what's going to happen, I don't know what's going to happen. We're going to have to wait until after the season for all that to get handled."

AND A.J., TOO?

A.J. Green came into the NFL along with Dalton in the 2011 draft, and he, too, has set numerous club marks. Green is a free agent after the season, leaving his future in Cincinnati uncertain as well.

If there's no agreement on an extension, the Bengals could use their franchise tag to keep him around for one more year to help a rookie quarterback get settled. But Green says he won't participate in offseason activities if that's the case, a way of forcing the club's hand.

CHUBB AND No. 32

Nick Chubb is closing in on the league's rushing title. He enters the season finale with 1,453 yards, the most by a Cleveland back since the legendary Jim Brown gained 1,863 in just 12 games in 1963. Chubb leads Carolina's Christian McCaffrey by 92 yards and has a chance to clinch the title against a Bengals defense that has struggled against the run.

"I care because everyone else cares," said Chubb, who insists he's not focused on the title.

Linebacker Joe Schobert says it would mean a lot to Chubb's teammates for him to get it.

"Nick's a great guy," Schobert said. "He's a great athlete, a great running back, and he's never going to talk for himself. He's never going to say anything for himself, but it's just a good sense of pride not just for the offense but for the whole team to see him do that because he deserves it."

DECADE OF DESPAIR

The Browns will finish the 2010s without a winning season. They're the only team in the league that didn't win at least eight games once over the past 10 years.

Cleveland hasn't finished with a winning record since going 10-6 in 2007. Since then, the Browns have gone 4-12 and 5-11 three times, won seven games twice, and had a three-year stretch of 3-13, 1-15 and 0-16. Their streak of 17 seasons without a playoff appearance is the longest active one in the league.

DECADES OF DESPAIR

The Bengals wrap up their fourth straight losing season. They haven't won a playoff game since the 1990 season, the fifth-longest streak of postseason futility in the NFL's century-old history. During that 29-year span, they've had only seven winning seasons.

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AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Updated December 26, 2019

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