Anderson, Lewis spark Browns' offense vs. Bengals
CLEVELAND (AP) -- This was a high-flying, high-scoring show even Chad Johnson and all his props couldn't top.
Derek Anderson threw five touchdown passes, Jamal Lewis rushed for 216 yards and the Cleveland Browns, so desperate after losing their home opener they traded their starting quarterback, outlasted the Cincinnati Bengals and Carson Palmer 51-45 on Sunday.
Palmer tossed a career-high six TDs, but his final chance to rally the Bengals (1-1) ended when he was intercepted with 21 seconds left by Cleveland cornerback Leigh Bodden, who made a diving grab near Cleveland's sideline.
One week ago, Anderson was backing up Charlie Frye before being brought in during the first half when the Browns (1-1) were blown out and embarrassed 34-7 by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Two days later, the Browns dealt Frye to the Seattle Seahawks, becoming the first team since the AFL/NFL merger to trade its season-opening quarterback before Week 2.
Cleveland's plan was for Anderson to hold down the starting job until rookie Brady Quinn was ready. That plan, too, may be scrapped following Anderson's breakout performance.
It was just the third time in NFL history that two QBs threw five TD passes in the same game. Oakland's Tom Flores (6) and Houston's George Blanda (5) both did it on Dec. 22, 1963, and Billy Kilmer of New Orleans (6) and Charley Johnson of St. Louis (6) also did on Nov, 5, 1969.
The teams combined for 96 points, 1,085 offensive yards and just five punts.
Anderson finished 20-of-33 for 328 yards and the five TDs, which tied a team record shared by Frank Ryan, Bill Nelsen, Brian Sipe and Kelly Holcomb.
Palmer went 33-of-50 for 401 yards, but Cincinnati's QB was hurt by a few late drops as the Bengals tried to come back.
Out of timeouts, the Bengals got the ball at their 9 back with 1:03 left. After two completions got them to the 20, Anderson threaded a 30-yarder over the middle between two defenders to Johnson, who had 11 catches for 209 yards and two TDs.
One play later, Palmer tried to feather another pass down the sideline to Johnson, but Bodden, who missed practice time this week with a groin injury, made a pick the Browns won't soon forget.
Anderson took a knee to run out the clock and the Browns celebrated an unlikely win that gave third-year coach Romeo Crennel just his second win against an AFC North opponent in 14 tries.
Cleveland's Braylon Edwards had eight catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Joe Jurevicius had two TD catches and Kellen Winslow had the other from Anderson, who got his first win as an NFL starter.
Lewis, signed by the Browns as a free agent this winter, averaged 8.0 yards per carry thanks to a 66-yard TD burst in the third quarter and 47-yard run in the fourth that set up Phil Dawson's 18-yard field goal that put the Browns up 51-38 with 5:44 left.
Palmer, though, brought the Bengals right back and hit Glenn Holt from 7 yards to make it 51-45 with 3:39 left.
The Browns were able to use up some clock, picking up a crucial first down when Edwards caught a pass over the middle and pushed his way past the markers despite being hit by several Bengals.
Cleveland, though, had to punt it away and Dave Zastudil, who missed last week's game with a bad back, dropped a pooch kick inside the 10 to make it tough on the Bengals.
Cincinnati's Rudi Johnson had 118 yards on 23 carries.
Chad Johnson's second TD catch pulled the Bengals within 34-31 in the third, and as the NFL's most eccentric showman promised, he jumped headfirst into the Dawg Pound, where he was baptized in a shower of beer by Cleveland's rowdiest fans.
Johnson climbed down and blew kisses to crowd. Seconds later, Lewis blew by the Bengals.
On first down at the 34, Lewis broke free at the line and down the left side on a run similar to a few he made in 2003 when he scorched the Browns for a single-game record 295 yards.
Palmer's fifth TD pass -- a 5-yarder to T.J. Houshmandzadeh -- got the Bengals within three, but Anderson countered with a 37-yard strike to Edward, who made a diving catch near the 5 and rolled into the end zone.