Cleveland Browns: Five most difficult road games in 2017
3. Cincinnati Bengals, Week 12
It is safe to say that the battle for Ohio hasn’t been much of a battle lately. The two NFL teams in the state of Ohio compete twice each year as a result of being in the same division. Each city gets to host one of these games, but to Cincinnati, who hosts seems quite irrelevant.
Still, traveling to the opposite corner of Ohio is going to be one of the shortest yet most difficult trips the Browns make this season. Paul Brown Stadium is not notoriously loud, but it is where the Browns go to lose.
The Browns have dropped 13 of their last 17 to the Bengals. But even more striking is the lopsided nature by which they have lost the last five. The combined score in the past five battles for Ohio is 152-40 in favor of the Bengals, all Cincinnati victories.
Last season, the Browns traveled to hostile Paul Brown Stadium and lost 31-17. The year before, the final was 31-10. The trend is clear, and it’s far from pretty for Cleveland.
Even for a young roster such as the one Cleveland will have in 2017, history like this can’t be good for their psyche. Losing to the Bengals has become a way of life for this organization, and breaking out of this narrative will be one extremely difficult aspect of the rebuilding process.
One thing is for sure though, and that is that nothing would help more than a victory this season in Cincinnati.