5 Bold predictions in Week 18 as Cleveland Browns face Cincinnati Bengals

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Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) intercepts a pass intended for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (1) in the end zone in the first quarter of the NFL Week 9 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. Cleveland led 24-10 at halftime.

The Cleveland Browns will be playing their last game this season on Sunday. It may be the last matchup but it’s just the start to what should be an active offseason.

When Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward took an early interception back 99-yards against the Cincinnati Bengals it changed the trajectory of that game, and the team went onto clobber the Bengals 41-16 that afternoon in early November.

The Browns stood at 5-4 on the season and were still looking good. Had they finally gotten back on track with their inconsistent offense?

That answer became more evident as the season dragged on. Cleveland never got back on track, especially with their offense and now the team is playing their last game of the season against these same Bengals. There will be no playoff games for this team. Instead, their opponent on Sunday will be going to the postseason as they are the AFC North Division champions.

A tale of two teams going in opposite directions. The Browns will be without their starting quarterback Baker Mayfield, who, after playing since a Week 2 injury to his shoulder, that he was healthy enough to play the remainder of the season, now has decided his shoulder injury is too much and he will forgo the last game to get surgery on the shoulder. Why this wasn’t decided by Mayfield or the team several weeks ago is a talking point at the moment.

How they respond Sunday and what type of effort they give against Cincinnati will be interesting from a fan perspective because all the hype that started this season off has now gone silent. There are still many questions that will boil over into the offseason and thus we’ll attempt some bold predictions for this game that might answer some of those.

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