Running back Trent Richardson left the game with a flank injury, but backup Montario Hardesty stepped up in his absence, scoring a one-yard touchdown to put the Browns ahead for good to start the fourth.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton had a big day in terms of numbers—381 yards and three touchdowns—but he also threw three interceptions.
With the Bengals driving late, Cleveland defensive end Emmanuel Stephens forced a Dalton fumble. Billy Winn rumbled into Cincinnati territory with it, effectively ending the Bengals' hopes.
The return of top cornerback Joe Haden from a four-game suspension definitely helped the Browns defensively.
Cleveland's balanced offensive performance was keyed by a steady running game and wide receiver Josh Gordon, who built on his breakout game in Week 5. Gordon had a team-high three catches for 99 yards and a 71-yard strike from Brandon Weeden for the Browns' first score of the game.
In another high-scoring Battle of Ohio, Cleveland minimized mistakes and rode a 21-point fourth quarter to win its first AFC North game under head coach Pat Shurmur.