Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns: Round Two of the Battle of Ohio

  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Joe Burrow
  • Joe Mixon
  • Jonah Williams
  • NFL
  • Odell Beckham
By Sam Connaughton October 23, 2020 0 Comment
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The Cincinnati Bengals will battle the Cleveland Browns this weekend in a game that should be deemed a must win for both squads.

The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off a loss where they led by 21 points. The Cleveland Browns are coming off a loss where they got beat like they stole something by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The teams will play for the second time this season on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. It’s fair to say that both teams would badly like a win. The Bengals need a win just to keep the fan base engaged and prove that Zac Taylor can coach. The Cleveland Browns need a win to stay in the Wild Card hunt. Both teams have in-state bragging rights on the line in what should be a fun game this Sunday. Here is what to watch for:

When the Cincinnati Bengals are on offense

Sam Connaughton: The Cincinnati Bengals will be without star running back Joe Mixon this Sunday. It is safe to say that his injury will be a major loss for this team. Mixon is considered one of, if not the, best players on this Cincinnati Bengals team. He had also been a workhorse for the Bengals. As of now, Mixon is on pace for over 1,000 yards rushing and no offense is going to be the same, maybe other than Cleveland’s, with a guy like that injured.

The Bengals will try to fill that void by using multiple running backs. Veteran Giovanni Bernard will probably get the majority of the work but Seamje Perine and Traveyon Williams figure to get some carries this Sunday against the Browns. Joe Burrow threw the ball sixty-one times in the first game and with all things considered, he might have to get up close to that number in order for the Bengals to stay competitive on Sunday.

When the Cleveland Browns are on defense

Kyle Smith: Joe Burrow is PFF’s number one rated quarterback on passes 1-19 yards down the field. The Browns are dealing with injuries at the linebacker position once again. Mack Wilson is back but is far from 100%, and rookie Jacob Phillips is out this week as well.

During the week two matchup, Burrow and the Bengals feasted on the underneath as the Browns secondary played the deep ball. This week, the Browns need to force Cincinnati to throw the deep ball. Last week, Burrow connected with Higgins in what has been their second complete pass that traveled 20 yards in the air.

If the Browns’ linebackers can successfully cover the middle of the field or put pressure on Burrow, they will force him to push the ball down the field without a true deep threat receiver.

When The Cleveland Browns are on offense

SC: Stop me if you have heard this before.The Cleveland Browns have the run game. The Cleveland Browns have an explosive WR group with two dynamic All-Pro wideouts. They have one of the best offensive lines in the league even with guard Wyatt Teller being out. Yet, time and time again this talented group gets let down by quarterback Baker Mayfield. He has an offensive line Bengals fans dream of at night but if you were to poll Browns fans, I bet 90% of them take Joe Burrow over Baker without hesitation. When Baker is good, this offense is scary. He played arguably his best game against the Bengals in Week 2 and there was no stopping that offense. Browns fans want to see more of that Baker but most of the time they get turnover prone and inaccurate Baker. It’s gotten to the point that Browns fans want Case Keenum to start over the guy they once crowned the franchise quarterback.

Baker has dominated the Bengals so far in his career. However, a loss on Sunday would whip Cleveland fans into a frenzy. Baker is playing for his job this Sunday and we will see how he plays with his back against the wall.

When the Cincinnati Bengals are on defense

KS: The Cincinnati Bengals will be without star cornerback William Jackson III after he was diagnosed with a concussion following the Colts game. After Darius Phillips and Leshaun Sims struggled against the Colts third and fourth receivers, it’s safe to assume that the Bengals will be relying heavily on safety play this week.

The Browns have a stout passing attack with Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and receiving tight end Hunter Bryant. Baker Mayfield may be leaving more to be desired from the QB position, but he roasted the Bengals in Week two.

Without WJ3, the Bengals will need to have Jessie Bates III, Vonn Bell, and Shawn Williams working overtop of OBJ and Landry. This will take a man out of the box, allowing Kareem Hunt to run wild. The Bengals could deploy a three safety look to disrupt the passing game and allow either Williams or Bell to play in the box when necessary. Lou Anarumo is already on the hot seat and this game could be a make or break for his career.

Cincinnati Bengals X Factor:

SC: The Bengals offensive line has been under much scrutiny so far this season. And for good reason. However, the one guy that has stood out has been left tackle Jonah Williams. Williams missed his entire rookie season due to injury but has looked like a seasoned vet so far in his second season. He has also gone up against good competition. The Bengals need Jonah Williams. He needs to play well on Sunday and help the Bengals turn the tide against a good Browns defensive line. If Williams can hold down Joe Burrow’s blind side against the Browns, this offense could get rolling and be deadly in this football game.

Cleveland Browns X Factor:

KS: Odell Beckham Jr will be allowed to run free. Neither Darius Phillips, nor Leshaun Sims is worthy of covering him. If Baker can get his head right, OBJ will be open anywhere on the field. Look for Odell Beckham Jr to push another 100-yard game and to score a touchdown or two.

Score Predictions:

KS: 27-23 Cleveland Browns

SC: 30-27 Cincinnati Bengals

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