CLEVELAND -- Can this Cleveland Browns season end soon enough?
A dismal season has somehow gotten worse the longer it has gone on for the Browns. The latest fiasco was another beatdown from the other team in Ohio, as the Bengals followed up a 31-10 win in Cincinnati with a 37-3 embarrassment in Cleveland on Sunday.
Cincinnati's margin of victory Sunday was the greatest in the history of the Browns-Bengals series, which started in 1970.
In their past two games in Cleveland, the Bengals have outscored the Browns 67-3. In two games this season, the Bengals have a 68-13 edge. And in the past three games against the Browns, the Bengals have won by a combined score of 98-13.
The Browns are 2-10 and going nowhere in a hurry. Somehow a season that started with low expectations has turned out to be worse than most anyone could have expected.
What it means: The win was the 50th for Andy Dalton since he joined the Bengals in 2011. It has taken the Browns almost 10 seasons to win 50 games. They have exactly 50 since the start of the 2006 season -- including the two they won this season. That fact alone is a measure of how far the Browns have to go to regain respectability, let alone competitiveness.
What were they thinking? The game was so one-sided that it’s tough to pick out one issue. But rookie lineman Cam Erving continues to be shown up by strong pass-rushers. Erving replaced Joel Bitonio and was beaten on a third-quarter sack of Austin Davis by Domata Peko. Earlier in the week, coach Mike Pettine admitted there have been plays when Erving has been overpowered. This is not good for an offensive lineman -- especially one drafted in the first round.
One reason to get excited: The end of the season is four games and one month away.
One reason to be nervous: Where to start? This is an overmatched team with little offensive talent and one of the worst defenses in the league. The Browns have earned every bit of their 2-10 record.
Ouch: Travis Benjamin left the game in the second half with a shoulder injury. Left guard Joel Bitonio and fullback Malcolm Johnson both left the game in the first quarter. Bitonio had an ankle rolled up (again), Johnson pulled a groin muscle. Neither returned.