Browns remain winless

CINCINNATI — Bengals running back Joe Mixon and Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer exchanged jerseys at midfield, two rookies still looking to make their mark in the NFL.

Mixon finally had his moment, running for a career-high 114 yards during a 30-16 victory Sunday that kept the Bengals (5-6) with a flicker of hope for a playoff berth if they finish strong and get a lot of help.

“It doesn’t mean much, to be honest,” defensive end Carl Lawson said. “We can’t pull off the gas.”

For Kizer and the Browns, it’s another week of wondering if they’ll even win a game.

The Browns became the second team since the 1970 merger to go 0-11 in back-to-back years. The expansion Buccaneers did it in 1976-77. These Browns waited until the 15th game last season to get their only win, and they’re starting to run out of chances to avoid 0-16.

December is here, and they’re still 0-for-’17.

“Once we get over that hill, we’ll win a lot of games,” Kizer predicted.

All season long, the Browns have played well enough to keep it close, only to let it slip away with bad plays.

The same thing happened at Paul Brown Stadium. Kizer threw for a career-high 268 yards and scored on a keeper with 6:57 left, getting the Browns within a touchdown.

Cincinnati went 75 yards for Mixon’s clinching 11-yard touchdown run, aided by a personal foul on safety Jabrill Peppers.

Next up is a Monday night game at home against the AFC North-leading Steelers with Cincinnati’s season on the line.

“The locker room’s going to be great, and this is a big one ahead of us,” Mixon said.

Not only have the Bengals won the last seven in the series, they’ve also taken 21 of the last 27.