CLEVELAND -- Brian Hoyer threw the game-clinching touchdown pass, turned and sprinted up the field as more than 70,000 fans roared.
It was the same way he used to do it in his backyard as a boy, pretending to lead his beloved Browns to victory.
On Sunday, he became a hometown hero for real.
Before the ball even dropped into Ogbonnaya's hands, Hoyer took off running toward Cleveland's helmet logo at the 50-yard-line with his index finger extended in the air.
Once he neared mid-field, Hoyer stopped and pumped his fist in celebration as he did years ago after throwing a TD while playing with his brother and friends behind his family's home in North Olmsted, Ohio.
"It's awesome," Hoyer. "It's cool to play in front of the hometown crowd in this stadium, where I grew up 15 minutes away from and obviously it's a good day because the Tribe is winning, too."
Not long after the Browns knocked off one of their division rivals, the Indians clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2007.
Suddenly, Cleveland's beleaguered sports teams are winning.
"We didn't make enough plays," said Dalton, who finished 23 of 42 for 206 yards.
"I didn't play well enough. I expect better out of the offense. To not score a touchdown, we've got too good of players and too good of a team not to do that. We have all the ability in the world on this team and we didn't get it done."
Hoyer began the season as Cleveland's No. 3 quarterback. But after Weeden sprained his right thumb, Chudzinski tabbed Hoyer as his starter.
Last week, Hoyer threw three touchdowns and three picks in the win at Minnesota. And although Weeden began throwing this week, he's not well enough to play. Now, he could be relegated to watching Hoyer for the rest of the season.
Chudzinski would not commit to Hoyer starting on Thursday against Buffalo, but it would be stunning for there to be any other choice.
"I'm still going to go through the same process," Chudzinski said. "We're going to go in and evaluate the tape. I thought he (Hoyer) did a great job, particularly managing some of the things early. I think guys settled in, he settled in, made some great decisions and throws and made big plays."
Even before Ogbonnaya crossed the goal line, Hoyer was overcome with emotion.
"I was just telling Obie, 'by the time you caught it, I was at the 40'," Hoyer said, smiling. "It's just good because you know you're capping off that long drive with a touchdown and that's what you need to win games."
It was a discouraging loss for the Bengals, who overcame four turnovers last week to beat Green Bay and wasted a chance to take early control in the AFC North.
NOTES:Browns K Billy Cundiff made a 51-yarder after missing from 37 and 49. He missed most of the week with a quadriceps injury. ... Cameron's 30 receptions through four games are the most for a tight end in Browns history. ... Browns rookie LB Barkevious Mingo started in place of injured Jabaal Sheard and recorded his third sack in three games.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press