NFL Week 18 Game Recap: Cleveland Browns 21, Cincinnati Bengals 16 | NFL News, Rankings & Stats

As the 2021-22 NFL season ends in a disappointment for the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals are on the rise despite a Week 18 loss.

The Browns beat the Bengals 21-16, but Cincinnati is heading where Cleveland expected: the NFL playoffs as AFC North champions.

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Case Keenum didn’t wow anyone with his performance in Cleveland, but his two touchdowns were enough to put the necessary distance between the Browns and the Bengals. Two-thirds of his throws were targeted short of sticks, as he pushed his way through the action.

Backtracking 27
Yards per attempt 7.3
First stockings 9
Passers-by rating 102.1
Average depth of target 4.8
To recover

Just like last week, D’Ernest Johnson took on most of the workload in the backfield, handling 25 of his team’s 41 races. Johnson averaged five yards per carry and a third of his carries moved the chains.

Wide receivers / tight ends

No matter who plays the Browns quarterback, finding Jarvis Landry is usual. The catcher finished Sunday’s action with six catches on eight targets, leading both teams in both categories.

Offensive line

NFL saves usually don’t provide much in terms of premium pass rush, and Cleveland operated with a clean pocket for most of Sunday’s game. Keenum had an average of 2.80 seconds to throw, and the offensive line was only responsible for two presses throughout the game, awaiting review.

Defensive line

Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney combined for 40 quick shots. The duo recorded seven presses, seven acceleration wins, two quarterback hits and three sacks.

Player Pass-Rush Snaps Pressures Knockdowns (Hits + Sacks) Pass-Rush wins
Myles Garrett 21 2 2 5
Jadeveon clowney 19 5 3 2

Jacob Phillips made his way to the quarterback on one of his three blitzes, ending with a sack. Phillips added five solo tackles, three being defensive saves, against the Bengals’ rushing offense.


AJ Green put on a strong performance against the Bengals spreaders. The defensive back was shot seven times but allowed just one catch for a meager two yards. Greg Newsome II did not share the luck of his teammates, giving up a catch on his seven targets for 55 yards and a score.

Cincinnati Bengals


Brandon Allen started for Cincinnati as he prepares for the Wild Card round, and he threw for a meager 136 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s loss. Allen only made half of his throws and averaged less per passing attempt than his average depth of target (5.2).

Backtracking 33
Yards per attempt 4.7
First stockings 4
Passers-by rating 76.2
Average depth of target 5.2
To recover

Trayveon Williams and Chris Evans split the duties as running backs, gaining a combined 73 yards on 16 carries for the Bengals. Sixty-one of those yards came after contact, and only three runs gained over 10 yards.

Wide receivers / tight ends

Ja’Marr Chase probably sweated more in warm-ups than in games, having only covered four routes before staying on the sidelines. Trent Taylor led all of the Bengals in receiving distance, scoring 41 from just two receptions.

Offensive line

D’Ante Smith allowed only one push, but that doesn’t reflect the number of losses the reserve goalie suffered on his 28 occasions. Five times, Smith was beaten by his assigned passer, one leading to a sack.

Defensive line

Wyatt Ray scored the only sack for a Bengals defensive lineman, and Noah Spence added two hits on Keenum.


Markus Bailey and Clay Johnston combined for 17 tackles against the Browns’ heavy approach, two at or behind the line of scrimmage and five qualifying as defensive saves.

Player Running Defense Snaps attacks Defensive saves TFL / no gain Avg. Tackle depth
Markus Bailey 39 seven 1 1 3.00
Johnston clay 30 ten 4 1 2.50

Trae Waynes allowed 44 yards on six targets, five of which were caught. He and Tre Flowers allowed five first downs combined, a gain of over 15 yards and a touchdown.

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