In our final installment of our on going Behind Enemy Lines series with our friends at Factory of Sadness we discuss our
predictions for today’s key matchup in the AFC North between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns. For our prediction head over to FoS for more.
As for FoS’s prediction of the game today they had this to say:
The Browns and Bengals lock up today in a surprisingly important game today. The Browns shocked their southern Ohio rivals earlier in the year under Brian Hoyer. At the time the Browns had seemingly punted on the season and the Bengals were seen as Super Bowl contenders. Now in Week 10 the tables haven’t turned completely yet the narrative for both’s season has changed.
The Browns are competitive: 1 and half games out of the AFC North lead and 1 game behind in the Wild Card race. The Bengals are coming off 2 straight losses and are now looking at their Ohio rivals as possible competition for the North that was unrealistic following their 4 game winning streak.
Today’s game will be highly impacted by weather. Current forecast calls for Thunderstorms starting at 2PM. The area has been drenched in rain and will continue to be throughout the morning. The wind is expected to reach around 20 MPH. Wet and windy sets up an old school kind of AFC North football game.
While the weather sets up for this type of smashmouth game, the two teams don’t fit that style of play offensively. The Bengals rank 18th in rushing yards while the Browns rank 26th. While the Bengals rank 6th in total rushing attempts the Browns rank tied for 28th yet the Southern Ohio team is ranked only 25th in yards per carry with the Northern team ranked 27th.
Instead this will be a defensive struggle with the two stellar units. Both teams have top 10 level defenses against both the run and the pass. While the Browns have gotten healthy, outside of the loss of 4th OLB and special teams captain Quentin Groves, the Bengals are dealing with many injuries including Geno Atkins and Leon Hall. Last week Vincent Rey broke out with 3 sacks and was around the ball all day for 15 total tackles.
Expect a low scoring game including a big play on defense and special teams. Will the Bengals, limited by injuries at cornerback allow Adam Jones to return punts, as he has hurt the Browns in a number of games? Can the Browns pressure blitzes keep QB Andy Dalton off balance and force him into mistakes?
Josh Gordon will score a touchdown as a Bengal falls down and veteran Jason Campbell lays one up for him. Giovani Bernard’s quickness allows him to break a long run, or screen pass, as Browns defenders struggle getting footing. The Browns win on a big special teams play, turning the tables on the Bengals, winning 14-10 in a ugly game. The Bengals, especially Dalton, have alot of questions to answer and the Browns, sitting a half game back, now have huge games over the next few weeks. Instead of punting on the season they win the game on a punt.
Hard to have a lot of confidence in this game based on the weather, their history and the last few games for each team. Hopefully its a good game and some interesting story lines for both teams moving forward.