Writer: Randy Gurzi
Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-1)
Summary: Week 1 wasn’t kind to the Cleveland Browns. Not only did they have to go play the defending AFC North champions, the Baltimore Ravens, but they had to do so after not having any offseason work to instill their new system. This put them at a huge disadvantage against a team such as Baltimore, which has had such stability in the coaching ranks.
Of course, that doesn’t excuse everything from the Week 1 loss. They still looked disorganized and confused, especially on offense. Baker Mayfield wasn’t trusting his eyes and the wide receivers were clearly not into the social distancing thing that has become the norm in our society. On defense, not all was the team’s fault. They were without a lot of their starters due to injuries which hurt them tremendously.
So naturally, with all that needing to be worked out, the Browns drew another short straw as they have a quick turnaround this week, playing on Thursday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals. The good news is, they’re not only at home but the Bengals have a rookie quarterback in Joe Burrow, who has never been through a short week in the NFL. Cincinnati is also coming in off a loss, falling just short to the Los Angeles Chargers — although Burrow and the offense nearly made a late comeback.
It feels like this is a game where Cleveland should win but they didn’t exude confidence in Week 1. Still, they have the better roster at this point, and being at home gives them a slight edge. They find a way to sneak out a close win, which hopefully will give them some momentum.
Prediction: Cleveland 20, Cincinnati 17