The Bengals are back at home for a week two battle with the Browns, this after an awful Monday night showing against the Ravens on the road. The Browns had a chance to land a week one upset vs the Eagles, but fell in the final seconds 17-16.
Cincy needs to have a bounce back game from their D, as the Ravens amassed 430 total yards while their vaunted defense sacked Andy Dalton four times and safety Ed Reed returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown.
The Ravens offense is heads and tails better than the Browns, and Cincy should be able to hold new Browns QB Brandon Weeden, who had four picks in week one, in check a lot better than they did Joe Flacco.
Cleveland needs to get rookie back Trent Richardson going, as last week in his first game back after a knee scope he had a rough day, gaining 39 yards on 19 carries against Philadelphia.
The Browns D will look to confuse Dalton, who was 21 of 31 for 270 yards and a touchdown during a 23-20 home victory over Cleveland on November 27th. Teammate A.J. Green, who caught five passes for 70 yards in the opener, had three receptions for 110 yards in that contest.
With no Joe Haden (out four games by the NFL with a suspension), look for the Bengals to attack often looking for Green downfield. The Browns need to run the ball well to keep the Cincy offense off the field.
A couple more turnovers by the Browns won’t hurt, but Cincy is going to make sure they don’t give the Browns offense any short fields to work with.
Look for a strong bounce back day from Dalton and Green, while the Browns offense continues to be a work in progress. Cleveland’s D will keep them in it for 3 quarters, but that’s the best they will be able to do.
Cincinnati 24 Cleveland 14