Ken Anderson's four touchdown passes in the second half enabled the Cincinnati Bengals to win their fifth straight game and eliminate the Cleveland Browns from the AFC Central race yesterday, 41-21.
Cincinnati (10-3) didn't commit a turnover in routing the defending AFC Central champions before 75,168 fans.
Fullback Pete Johnson caught one of the scoring passes and ran for two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Johnson gained 105 yards on 21 carries and had 37 yards on seven receptions.
The Bengals, who hadn't won in Cleveland since 1977, remained two games ahead of second-place Pittsburgh in their division.
Anderson completed 26 of 32 passes for 235 yards. He has completed 250 of 390 passes for 25 touchdowns this year, all of which are personal records.
Cris Collinsworth caught two of the scoring passes, and M.L. Harris and Johnson one each.
Cleveland (5-8) moved well at times, with Brian Sipe completing 19 of 28 passes for 217 yards and Mike Pruitt rushing 83 yards.
But early turnovers doomed the Browns, who had defeated Cincinnati, 20-17, in the third game of the season.
Dino Hall muffed a punt at his 11 and Jeff Schuh of Cincinnati recovered. Two plays later, Anderson threw to Johnson for a five-yard touchdown.
On Cleveland's next possession, Pruitt fumbled at the Cleveland 49 and Bryan Hicks recovered. After Johnson rushed 10 yards, Anderson passed to Collinsworth for a 39-yard touchdown.
Anderson increased the lead to 21-0 with a seven-yard pass to Collinsworth less than five minutes into the second quarter.