Published September 29, 2013
| Sports Network
Cleveland, OH – Brian Hoyer and the Cleveland Browns are on a roll.
The former third-string quarterback passed for 269 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday and the Browns beat the Cincinnati Bengals 17-6 for another win with Hoyer as the starter.
"He's been the spark that I had hoped for," said Browns coach Rob Chudzinski.
Hoyer went a combined 11-of-11 for 130 yards on two touchdown drives for the Browns (2-2), who are 2-0 since starter Brandon Weeden sprained his thumb and running back Trent Richardson was traded to the Colts.
Tight end Jordan Cameron had 10 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown -- his fifth of the season -- and Chris Ogbonnaya also scored on a catch. In-season pickup Willis McGahee rushed 15 times for 46 yards and Billy Cundiff kicked a 51-yard field goal in the win, though he also missed two other tries.
Josh Gordon, in his second week back from a suspension, had four catches for 71 yards for the Browns.
The Bengals (2-2) had a two-game winning streak snapped and lost to the Browns for only the third time in the last 10 meetings.
Andy Dalton was 23-of-42 for 206 yards and an interception and Mike Nugent made field goals of 43 and 25 yards.
Chudzinski snapped a five-game losing streak by Browns rookie coaches in their first game against the Bengals.
"The results I knew would come," he said. "It's still a long season. We still have a lot of things we have to work on."
Hoyer was 30-of-54 for 321 yards in a surprising Week 3 win over the Vikings and got the nod again Sunday, his third career start.
He completed all six passes for 74 yards during a 95-yard touchdown drive in the first quarter, hitting Cameron over Bengals safety Taylor Mays in the left side of the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown and 7-0 lead.
"It was a great pass," said Cameron, who has five touchdown catches already this season after he only had one in his first two years in the league.
Browns punter Spencer Lanning lined the ensuing kickoff just 18 yards -- a failed squib kick? -- right into Cincinnati's George Iloka, who fell on the ball.
The Bengals turned their good field position into Nugent's 25-yard field goal.
After Cundiff missed a 37-yard try for the Browns wide left, Cincinnati drove to the Cleveland 7 but BenJarvus Green-Ellis lost yards on a 4th-and-1 play after the Bengals opted not to kick a field goal.
Green-Ellis rushed just six times for 13 yards and Giovani Bernard gained 37 yards on 10 carries.
"There are things we gotta do better," said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.
Cundiff missed a 49-yarder before halftime wide-right.
Browns cornerback Chris Owens stripped Dalton on the first drive of the third quarter and recovered the fumble, but Cleveland punted.
After two misses in the first half on shorter tries, Cundiff kicked a 51-yard field goal later in the third to give the Browns a 10-3 lead. Nugent followed with a 43-yarder for the Bengals to cut their deficit to four.
But Hoyer was 5-for-5 for 56 yards on a 91-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, including a 31-yard hookup with Cameron and the drive ended with his 1-yard pass to Ogbonnaya.
"This might be only my third start but this is my fifth year in the NFL, so I've been through a lot of things and I know the right way to prepare to be ready for the game," said Hoyer.
The Browns will host the Bills on Thursday night ... The Bengals play at home against the Patriots next Sunday ... Browns rookie coaches Chris Palmer (1999), Butch Davis (2001), Romeo Crennel (2005), Eric Mangini (2009) and Pat Shurmur (2011) all fell to Cincinnati the first time around. Before Sunday, Bill Belichick in 1991 was the last Browns coach to win his first meeting with the Bengals ... Lewis fell to 14-7 vs. the Browns.