Keys to a win over the Cincinnati Bengals
It is no secret that the Browns have one of the weakest pass defenses in all of football. This unfortunate reality is a result of an abundance of injuries, a lack of size, a lack of experience and cases of players underperforming. Still, somehow, the Browns have held it together for the most part and prevented teams from exploiting the weakest part of their defense as much as many offenses probably could have.
For the Browns to have a chance to win on Sunday, this must remain the case. But this week, it is a bit of a different battle. For a team with not a great amount depth, but two very potent receiving threats, the Browns are going to have to keep A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert in check.
The fact that the Browns have struggled immensely with receiving tight ends and sizable threats in the passing game in general raises a red flag when it comes to Eifert. A 6-foot-6, 250-pound 26-year-old with exceptional hands is Cleveland’s worst nightmare. It will be a challenge, and Eifert will undoubtedly gain a substantial amount of yards. But the Browns must do everything possible to keep the big red zone target out of the end zone.
One way they can do this is by dropping linebackers into coverage more often, and informing their safeties to pay extra attention to the large tight end. However, this may draw attention off of other receivers such as Brandon LaFell or James Wright, and equally destructive damage could be done.
No matter what the Browns decide to do, it is a balance. With this in mind though, it is absolutely imperative that they at least limit Eifert and Green, preventing both from taking over the game and making matters easy for the Bengals.