The Cleveland Browns are running away with the NFL Battle for Ohio so far against the Cincinnati Bengals, racing out to a 24-10 lead at halftime. They were able to kickstart that momentum thanks to a 99-yard interception return by Denzel Ward.

Early in the first quarter, it looked like the Bengals were going to strike first. Joe Burrow had led Cincy down the four-yard line and were poised to score on 3rd and goal when his strike to Ja’Marr Chase was telegraphed just enough that Ward made a read and picked it off. That was bad enough for Burrow but when the quarterback found himself as the only person between Ward and the endzone, he soon found himself on the ground nursing his ankles while Ward juked right past him for the 99-yard score.

The interception return by Ward, who was returning from a hamstring injury, went down as the second-longest in Browns’ franchise history, trailing only Brodney Pool’s 100-yarder in 2007.

The big play was a catalyst to get the Browns moving in the right direction and many of their fans and other NFL folks had strong reactions to the pick-six.

 

The Bengals were able to tack on a field goal right before the half they’ll hope to get back into the game in the second half. But knowing that Denzel Ward is out there, waiting for a chance at his second pick, is going to be in Joe Burrow’s head all day long.

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.