3 plays that changed the game in Browns loss to Bengals

Bengals vs Browns Ja'Marr Chase. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Bengals vs Browns Ja'Marr Chase. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Although it was a 13-point win, just a few plays could have made all the difference in the Cleveland Browns game against the Cincinnati Bengals

A 23-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals dropped the Cleveland Browns to 5-8 on the season. It was already a long shot for them to make the playoffs but this loss all but ended their hopes.

As is the case with most games, even those where there’s a 13-point win, there are a handful of plays that really decided things. That was the case in Week 14 as these three plays changed the game for the Browns.

Bengals, Trenton Irwin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Browns game-changing play No. 3: The Flea-Flicker

Cleveland was down 13-3 at the half but hoped to make it interesting since they started with the ball in the third quarter. Unfortunately, their offense did nothing on back-to-back drives. The defense held after their first punt but they weren’t so lucky on the next.

Starting with the ball at their own 44, Cincinnati moved it to the Browns’ 45 on an 11-yard pass to Ja’Marr Chase. But then, they had a big play that broke the game wide open.

Joe Burrow handed the ball off to Joe Mixon, who turned around and tossed it back to the quarterback. The Flea-Flicker caught Cleveland’s defense off guard as Trenton Irwin was wide open for a 45-yard touchdown.

Martin Emerson was the closest defender and he likely had coverage on Irwin. However, Grant Delpit also bit hard on the fake as he sold out to stop Mixon.

Cincinnati had been in control of the game up until this point but it still didn’t feel out of reach. This play changed that feeling in the blink of an eye.