Cleveland Browns: Keys to victory against Cincinnati
As important as a good offensive showing will be, the Browns will still have their hands full on defense. Though the Bengals gained the bulk of their 559 yards of offense in Week 7 through the air, the first step to keeping Cincinnati off the scoreboard is denying their rushing attack.
Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard are a dynamic duo in the backfield that have a perfect combination of speed and power. Cleveland’s linebackers will be the key to stopping both Hill and Bernard, as they will have the responsibility of filling the holes created by the offensive line and sealing the edges.
Christian Kirksey, Demario Davis, Emmanuel Ogbah, and Jamie Collins are capable of doing this successfully, as they have shown at times this season. But they must be given the opportunity to be able to make a difference against the run. This means that Cleveland must limit the amount of times they drop their linebackers into pass coverage.
Stopping the run will put Cincinnati in second and third-down situations not ideal for the makeup of their offense. This will allow the Browns to bring the pass rush, and the dominoes will fall into place. But everything starts with stopping the run, which comes down to the inside linebackers filling the hole and the outside linebackers sealing the edges.