Bengals use trick, ex-Buc leads way
CLEVELAND — Bruce Gradkow-ski looked up field and couldn't believe his eyes. There was nothing, just green grass and rookie receiver A.J. Green.
"I said, 'Oh my gosh, you gotta be kidding me'," Gradkowski said.
Gradkowski, the ex-Bucs quarterback, caught Cleveland's defense still in the huddle and quickly lobbed a 41-yard touchdown to Green in the fourth quarter, giving the Bengals a stunning win.
Ex-Gator Joe Haden fought through confused Browns teammates trying to get to Green.
"I thought, 'Ball, please get down and into my hands,' " said Green, a speedy first-round pick. "… It took forever to get to me."
Gradkowski came on for rookie starter Andy Dalton (right wrist).
Browns cornerback Sheldon Brown thought the Bengals got away with one.
Colt McCoy threw two touchdowns for the Browns, who were disorganized for much of new coach Pat Shurmur's first game.