Writer: Joel Cade
Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-1)
Summary: An 0 must go. The Browns and Bengals are both coming off losses in Week 1. Both look to improve their situation by beating in-state opponents in a rivalry game that has more impact on draft position than division standings.
My dad (who was a Bengals fan) always told me the biggest mistake the Bengals could do is kickoff. It’s all downhill after the kickoff. I pray the Bengals can live up to the faith my dad had in them.
It’s rebound time for the Browns. Unfortunately, it comes on a short week. Nothing is easy for the good guys in orange and brown. The Browns have an opportunity to prove they are not the team that got their rear ends handed to them by the Ravens. This week lines up as a perfect week for them to do so. They face a Bengals team with a rookie quarterback who at times looked great at other times looked very much the rookie.
Cleveland will need to harass the quarterback to induce panic in Joe Burrow. This may cause him to throw some errant passes. Disguising coverages should confuse the rookie quarterback. The Bengals offense will be a test for the Browns with Joe Mixon at running back and A.J. Green finally back at wide receiver. Jonah Williams made his long-awaited starting role at left tackle. The Browns will need to stop the run to get Burrow throwing the ball all game.
The offense needs to establish itself. What happened to this outside zone scheme we heard about all offseason. It is time that scheme showed up. The running game was strong in Baltimore. It needs to be even better on Thursday night to take the pressure off struggling Baker Mayfield. The Browns should try to get Odell Beckham involved early.
Prediction: Brown 34, Bengals 17