Baker Mayfield and the Browns go into Cincinnati Sunday to play the Bengals in a game that both teams are determined to win. The Browns are coming off a disappointing loss to the Steelers, which is nearly as bad as losing to the Jets like the Bengals did last week. Cleveland will win a close game that should be very entertaining.
The Cleveland Browns have an elite offensive line, especially when it comes to running the ball. Of course it also helps to have a running back like Nick Chubb in the backfield. So far this season Cincinnati has struggled to stop the run, which means the Browns should be able to move the ball on the ground. Expect to see a healthy dose of the run game between Chubb and D’Ernest Johnson.
Another area in which the Cleveland could attack Cincinnati is by getting the running backs involved in the passing game. The Bengals are suspect when it comes to covering opposing running backs in the pass game. This is where it would be ideal to have Kareem hunt healthy because he would be in for a big days against this Bengals defense. Hopefully Stefanski and his staff have a few screen plays worked into this week’s game plan for the running backs that are active.
Myles Garrett Game
Myles Garrett is the current NFL sack leader with 10.5 sack through 8 weeks of the season. While the Bengals do have an above average offensive line, they are no match for “Flash”. Myles should have plenty of opportunities to add to his sack total on Sunday in Cincinnati.
The Bengals QB will be looking to take advantage of a banged up secondary for the Browns, which is a weak spot Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase would love to take advantage of. That being said, Burrow will need his offensive line to keep him standing long enough for the plays to develop. A task that is much easier said than done considering the strength of Cleveland’s pass rush with Garrett on one side and Clowney (if he plays) on the other.
What to Watch For
I hate to say that a game will be decided within the first few possessions, because so much can happen throughout the entirety of the game. So while the first few possessions of this game between the Browns and Bengals may not necessarily determine a winner, they will in fact heavily impact the outcome of this game. The Browns best chance at victory is to establish control early via the run game, limiting the need to throw the ball.
If the Bengals are able to be successful in slowing down the Cleveland pass rush, then they should be able to put points up through the pass game in order to keep this game close throughout. If Cincinnati gets an early lead then it could be another long day for Browns fans, with Cleveland’s pass game struggling to produce consistently combined with the fact that Odell Beckham Jr. is no longer a part of the team.
In the end, if this game becomes a shootout through the air then it favors Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. If the Browns are successful in establishing the run while also applying pressure to Burrow, then they should have a great chance at coming away with a win.