News & Analysis

NFL Week 17 PFF ReFocused: Cincinnati Bengals 33, Cleveland Browns 23

Dec 29, 2019; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) reacts with Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross (11) after a play against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that didn't matter much for either team in the grand scheme, the Cincinnati Bengals at least went into the offseason on a positive note, notching a Week 17 33-23 win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday for only their second win of the 2019 season.

PFF's ReFocused series features immediate takeaways from the two analysts who graded the game live. The two offer a detailed breakdown of the game's most notable performances before the grades and advanced stats are reviewed and finalized by Senior Analysts.

All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game and the other games played this week will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle. ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats.

PFF's ELITE subscribers can also preview NFL and NCAA games in PFF Greenline, an online dashboard with projections for the spread, totals and moneyline.

Final Score

Cincinnati Bengals 33, Cleveland Browns 23

Cincinnati Bengals

It was a pretty bland game from Andy Dalton in what very well may have been his final start in a Bengals uniform. Dalton was all right in terms of accuracy, but he only attempted four passes all game that traveled more than 15 yards downfield and got away with some dangerous throws in addition to his interception.

Outside of a fumble on a handoff, Joe Mixon had a great day with the ball in his hands. Mixon demonstrated both the power and elusiveness that make him such a talented back, churning out multiple chunk runs that came as a result of him making people miss.

Carlos Dunlap had a heck of a game as a pass-rusher. The veteran tallied three sacks (one a strip sack) and flirted with double-digit total pressures.

It was an up-and-down game for Darius Phillips, who got the start at cornerback following a strong performance in Week 16. Phillips did come down with two interceptions, but one fell right into his lap after Jarvis Landry slipped on his route. Phillips was also beaten deep a handful of times (including the third play of the game when Damion Ratley just ran right by him en route to a 50-yard touchdown) and he surrendered multiple touchdowns.

Cleveland Browns

Nick Chubb was limited in his opportunities as the Browns played from behind much of the game, but he finished off a strong season by continuing to run well with the ball in his hands. Chubb has cemented himself as one of the top running backs in the league with his performance this season.

Sunday was a roller-coaster of a game for Baker Mayfield, which is fitting considering the season he had. Mayfield was below-average in terms of accuracy in Week 17, with a few big-time throws to go along with a few turnover-worthy plays. Baker also got himself into trouble at times against Cincy by drifting deep on his dropbacks, giving Bengals edge rushers an advantage over Cleveland's tackles.

The Browns as an entire defense had a very rough day when it came to rushing the passer. They were able to get to Andy Dalton for two sacks, but other then that they were barely able to generate any pressure at all.

Denzel Ward had a solid game in coverage. Ward came down with an interception on a deep ball in the third quarter and he also broke up a pass in the first quarter.

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