CINCINNATI -- The Cleveland Browns had a good defensive game in the opener -- and lost.
Then they had a good offensive game in the second week -- and lost.
Which brings up the question: Is a loss easier to take when the losing team looks good?
Or are the Browns, at this point of a season, playing just well enough to lose?
Sunday in Cincinnati, the Browns got record-breaking rookie performances from their rookie running back and quarterback -- and lost.
Big plays and a dismal day in the secondary doomed Cleveland as the Bengals outscored them 34-27.
Somewhere Joe Haden was watching, and you just wonder if whatever he did that led to his four-game suspension was worth it. Because though the Browns tried to minimize it, Haden's absence made a huge difference in the secondary.
"He's tough to replace," said linebacker Scott Fujita. "Everyone has to step up though."
But missing the team's best cover corner took a large toll -- not so much with the next guy up but with the guys aft...