Thursday Night Football: What I Expect and Prediction


The Cleveland Browns have a huge game ahead of them on Thursday Night Football against AFC North leading Cincinnati Bengals. More could not be on the line for TNF as the winner of this game will have at least a share of the division lead.

The Browns, 5 – 3, have been a surprise so far this season. They took down the New Orleans Saints and destroyed the Pittsburgh Steelers. They cobbled together victories over the lowly Tennessee Titans, Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They were competitive into the fourth quarter of all three of their losses; Ravens, Steelers and Jaguars (although that one got out of hand late).

The Bengals, 5 – 2 – 1, are not clicking as well as they expected. Their record is still solid but inconsistencies as well as injuries have hurt the team. Tonight they will likely be without quite a few starters which could really hurt the team, and benefit the Browns.

Here is what I expect for Thursday Night Football:

  • The Browns will run some plays that we haven’t seen, including a likely flea flicker early in the 1st or 3rd quarter.
  • The game will be sloppy with defenders struggling to keep their feet. That will likely lead to a long play or two.
  • Andy Dalton will get frustrated by Joe Haden.
  • A.J. Green will get frustrated by Joe Haden.
  • Joe Haden will bite on a double move for a long gain.

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  • The Bengals will incorporate their tight ends in the passing game often, including multiple tight end screens.
  • Brain Hoyer will struggle with accuracy early but really come on in the second quarter.
  • Based on odds, the Browns will lose the coin flip.
  • Tashaun Gipson will not get another interception tonight.
  • Jeremy Hill will have a good game but not have any explosive plays.
  • Barkevious Mingo has his first big time game under the lights.
  • Johnny Manziel gets some playing time, again likely early in the 1st or 3rd quarter.
  • Browns 20 – Bengals 17

What are some things you think will happen tonight?

What is your prediction for the game?