CINCINNATI - The regression is complete.
The Browns lost 19-17 to the Bengals on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium in a performance that lacked energy and execution.
The Browns fell to 5-9, and the Bengals improved to 3-11 after snapping a 10-game losing streak. The Browns lost to a 2-10 Buffalo team the previous week.
The Browns offense scored a touchdown on the first possession, then disappeared until the end. The defense was run over all day by a Bengals offense missing receiver Terrell Owens. Cincinnati was content to run for most of the second half, consuming clock and settling for field goals.
The Browns pulled within 19-17 with 2:13 left on a 46-yard pass from Colt McCoy to Brian Robiskie, the first touchdown of Robiskie's two-year career.
But Phil Dawson's onside kick up the middle was recovered by Quan Cosby.
The talk of coach Eric Mangini getting fired following the season will really begin to heat up this week. This could've been the performance that convinced president Mike Holmgren to make a switch.
The Browns blew a good chance to scare Cincinnati when Peyton Hillis was stuffed on third-and-1 from the 5-yard line on the first play of the fourth quarter. They settled for a Dawson field goal.