Offense: Rookies Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson bounced back from their ugly NFL debut with strong performances. Weeden completed 26-of-37 passes (70 percent) for 322 yards and two touchdowns without throwing an interception or fumbling. He finished with a passer rating of 114.9 after posting a dreadful 5.1 in Week 1. Richardson had 19 carries for 109 yards (5.7 average) and a touchdown to go along with four catches for 36 yards and a touchdown. In Week 1, he had the same number of carries for only 39 yards (2.1 average). The offense gained 439 yards and 21 first downs and converted 7-of-15 third downs (47 percent): Thumbs up.
Defense: The Browns allowed only 80 yards rushing, compiled six sacks and tallied a takeaway when middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted a pass deflected by cornerback Dimitri Patterson. Still, the Bengals picked up 375 yards, converted their lone fourth-down attempt and had touchdowns of 10, 44 and 50 yards through the air. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton completed 24-of-31 passes for 318 yards and finished with a passer rating of 128.2: Thumbs down.
Special teams: After the Browns’ offense stalled during the opening possession, Adam Jones returned Reggie Hodges’ punt 81 yards for a touchdown with 13:13 left in the first quarter. Six Browns players — rookie Johnson Bademosi, Christian Young, Kaluka Maiava, Eric Hagg, Craig Robertson and Alex Smith — appeared to miss chances to tackle Jones. The Bengals never lost the lead: Thumbs down.
Coaching: Despite encouraging progress from the offense, the Browns failed in two of the three phases. Defensive coordinator Dick Jauron’s men gave up too many big plays, and Chris Tabor’s punt-coverage unit put the entire team in a hole. The Browns had 10 penalties for 103 yards, compared with the Bengals’ six penalties for 54 yards: Thumbs down.
— Nate Ulrich