CINCINNATI — With two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, and a pair of Billy Cundiff field goals, the Cleveland Browns enjoyed a 13-0 lead over the Cincinnati Bengals after one quarter of play in the Battle of Ohio from Paul Brown Stadium.
Cleveland defensive back Joe Haden had never returned an interception for a touchdown…until today when he gave the Browns a 13-0 lead over the Bengals with 2:19 to play in the first quarter.
On second-and-10 from Cincinnati’s 20-yard line, quarterback Andy Dalton dropped back to pass to Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green on the right side of the formation, but Haden jumped the route for his second interception of the game.
However, unlike his first interception of the day, Haden was not to be denied of the end zone. With free safety Tashaun Gipson running interference behind him, Haden coasted his way into the end zone for the 29-yard touchdown.
Earlier in the quarter, Cundiff converted a 28-yard field goal and extended the Browns’ lead over the Bengals to 6-0 with 3:04 to play in the first quarter. Cundiff’s second field goal capped off a four-play drive that was set up by the Browns’ defense.
The Bengals faced a first-and-10 from their own 20-yard line when Dalton attempted a pass for Green, but instead of the out route, Green ran a comeback.
Dalton’s pass sailed beyond the reach of the Pro Bowl wide receiver and into Haden’s arms. Haden returned the ball 15 yards to the Bengals’ 14-yard line.
Cundiff had given the Browns a 3-0 lead over the Bengals with a 20-yard field goal at the 4:10 mark of the first quarter. The Browns took the lead with an 11-play, 79-yard drive that took 4:51 off the first-quarter clock. The Browns converted four first downs on their second possession of the game.
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