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Browns vs. Bengals: Live Game Thread for Week 4

The Browns take on the Bengals in the 80th Battle of Ohio.  The Bengals are extremely thin in the secondary as they are missing Leon Hall, Dre Kirkpatrick and Reggie Nelson while the Browns’ guard Shawn Lauvao is again inactive this week, forcing Oniel Cousins to block arguably the best defensive tackle in the NFL in Geno Atkins.  The Browns are also without Jabaal Sheard and Billy Winn, but are able to absorb those losses better than many teams would be.  This means that Barkevious Mingo will get the first start of his career and will have to again prove himself as a run defender.  Critics thought he would be nothing more than a Bruce Irvin type pure pass rushing options, but supporters note he played power end in the SEC and held up far better as a run defender than many realized.  Without Winn, the Browns have the always reliable Athyba Rubin and the question will be if they want to use John Hughes at end or just use Armonty Bryant in his rookie debut.

Sep 22, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron (84) celebrates his touchdown with offensive lineman John Greco (77) during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Browns defeated the Vikings 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Hoyer gets his second game as the quarterback for the Browns and while the Bengal secondary is thin, their defensive line is loaded and just keeps coming.  Their linebackers are extremely effective against the run, so the Browns might have trouble getting their running game back on track this week, but there could be some nice opportunities to get the ball to Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron and Davone Bess.

Meanwhile, the Browns have to find a way to defend the combination of A.J. Green, Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert while not forgetting Mohamed Sanu and Giovani Bernard in the passing game.  This game features teams with some strengths up front, the ability to stop the run and rush the passer but there are significant questions about how teams will hold up on the back end of the defense.  This could be a game that features a ton of big plays both ways with quarterbacks picking themselves up off of the ground as well as making big plays in the passing game.  This could end up being a combination of a shootout as well as a last man standing situation at the quarterback position.  As a result, this game comes down to which coaching staff can exploit the opponent’s weaknesses while hiding their own.

If the Browns can win this, they pull even with the Bengals at 2-2 and perhaps a game out of first, while the Bengals have an opportunity to get to 3-1, at least a share of first place and primed to separate themselves from the Browns and Steelers.

Topics: Cleveland Browns

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  • Pete Smith

    bleh… Browns lose another opportunity. Only go to Half up 7-3

  • Joe Mazzulo

    Cundiff apparently does not want his job.

  • Pete Smith

    Vikings up on Steelers, which is good for multiple reasons. Buffalo up on Baltimore, which is bizarre

  • NickNorthern

    A 47 yarder miss is understandable. The earlier one within 40 yards was no mas. The two misses are going to hurt us.

  • Joe Mazzulo

    All around good first half. Hoyer was tough, accurate, and smart with the football. Gordon and Cameron are continuing to excel. Defense was tough, Mingo and Kruger were strong, Haden has been very good against Green. And Nick I agree, Gipson has really done a nice job this season, he has been a pleasant surprise.

  • Pete Smith

    Bucs up 10-0 at half also good

  • Pete Smith

    Mingo… go get Collins.

  • Pete Smith

    Chris Owens… sack fumble, fumble recovery. Wow. Did something useful

  • NickNorthern

    Owens forces the fumble and recovers it! amazing.

  • Pete Smith

    That is the definition of empty hand

  • NickNorthern

    Penalties killing us.

  • Pete Smith

    Rainey is pretty good with room to run

  • Joe Mazzulo

    Playing a very sloppy game right now. Lucky to be winning, thank goodness for this defense.

  • Pete Smith

    Atkins just dusted Greco on that play. Ouch

  • Pete Smith

    Cundiff makes the 51 yarder. Go figure. Bengals D really turning it up

  • NickNorthern

    Rainey was finally productive on that last drive. That will give us another weapon the Bengals have to respect. Cundiff finally sinks one.

  • Pete Smith

    Wow. Mingo almost had a pick there. Another deflection

  • Pete Smith

    Difficult challenge to win even if he’s right.

  • Pete Smith

    Wow, it worked out. Let’s see if the D can make it pay off

  • Pete Smith

    Well… at least he won the challenge

  • Pete Smith

    To me, I see two teams that do not have a franchise quarterback and I’m not sure Hoyer isn’t better than Dalton

  • Pete Smith

    Mingo almost got another sack. His ability to come back when QBs step up and scramble is such a stat stuffer. Bryant makes the play and forces Bengals to kick field goal. 10-6 now.

  • Pete Smith

    Browns Offense needs to be able to get a drive going here. The O has slowed down progressively over the course of the game

  • Joe Mazzulo

    Browns offense is really hamstrung by their inability to run the football. This issue will linger all year and cost them games.

    • Pete Smith

      It’s frustrating because there are so many pieces in place where you can see the offense working and working well. OLine, Gordon, Cameron, Bess. QB, Another WR, another TE, RB. Could be very, very good in a hurry

  • Pete Smith

    Geno Atkins is just too much for John Greco. It’s not even fair

  • Joe Mazzulo

    Geno Atkins is special. Wow, what a force.

  • Pete Smith

    A lot of pressure on Browns D to continue delivering with less than ideal field position

    • Joe Mazzulo

      All season long. Same story, different week.

  • Joe Mazzulo

    A.J. Green has been too quiet. He’s due for a big play and that scares me. Every time I see him matched up against Chris Owens in one on one I hold my breath.

    • Pete Smith

      Certainly helps that Dalton cannot get comfortable

  • Pete Smith

    I want one of those…

  • Pete Smith

    Mingo…

  • Pete Smith

    AJ Green seems frustrated.

  • Joe Mazzulo

    Really good stand. Offense needs to at least run some clock off.

  • Pete Smith

    Points would be great, but just changing the complexion of the field position would be a big deal for the offense

  • Pete Smith

    Bess… not a great punt returner.

    • Joe Mazzulo

      No, but I at least trust his decision making. Great punt right there.

  • Joe Mazzulo

    Agreed. Field position has been a losing battle the majority of the day/

  • NickNorthern

    Good punt by Bengals. Bess doesn’t have the speed to be a good returner but he does have great hands. At least he isn’t likely to screw things up.

  • Pete Smith

    McGahee with a positive contribution. Little mmph to get the first down. And a big one

  • Pete Smith

    I’m not gonna lie. I like Bobby Rainey as a complementary back. Nice play by Hoyer there too.

  • Joe Mazzulo

    Rainey has really been a nice surprise. I see a growing role for him as the season progresses.

  • Joe Mazzulo

    Bad spot by the ref in my opinion. Bengals have gotten some generous calls today.

  • NickNorthern

    Nice roll out of pressure to find an open man. I don’t see Weeden pulling something like that off.

  • Pete Smith

    Cameron is just too damn big for opponents. That’s why I want another TE, but one who can block too like Heiden to Winslow

  • NickNorthern

    Beautiful roll out of the pocket to hit Cameron.

  • Pete Smith

    Willis McGahee taking full advantage of a tiring Bengals D.

  • NickNorthern

    McGahee figuring it out. We are in such a better position when the running game works.

  • Pete Smith

    Credit to play calling as they have sensed a weakness and just kept coming. Pay it off with a TD to Ogbannaya. Browns put Bengals in an incredibly tough spot with under 5 minutes to play

  • Joe Mazzulo

    What a big time drive. Great call at the goal line and I love seeing McGahee come alive.

  • NickNorthern

    TD!

  • NickNorthern

    If McGahee can play like this all year and pull a Jamal Lewis, it is going to give our offense some badly needed breathing room.

  • Pete Smith

    Buster Skrine gets an INT, will get scolded by fans