3 X-Factors as Cleveland Browns face Bengals in Week 2
There aren’t many other ways to put it, the Cleveland Browns looked bad in their first game against the Baltimore Ravens this past Sunday. They were handled in all three phases of the game and looked a lot like the Browns of old.
The offense looked mediocre and unsure of themselves, the defense looked outmatched and appeared to be confused more often than not, and special teams made several key mistakes (including a rough attempt at a fake punt) that led to points for Baltimore. It was a sloppy game against a superior opponent, it was also the first game under head coach Kevin Stefanski after a shortened offseason that included no exhibition games or OTAs.
Luckily the team on the other side of the field this coming week won’t be one of the best teams in the NFL. In fact, it will actually be one of the worst, the Cincinatti Bengals who just had the No. 1 pick in the NFL following a frustrating season in 2019. Unfortunately the game is on Thursday so they will only have three days to prepare — but thankfully being at home means they have a very slight edge in this turnaround (although it would be better if the road team had a cross-country journey to make).
Having said all that, the Bengals looked better in Week 1, barely losing on the road to Los Angeles Chargers. But Cleveland clearly has the better roster and was projected by almost everyone to be better than Cincinatti.
Cleveland will need big performances from a lot of players who didn’t perform against the Ravens, let’s take a look at a few.