The battle of Ohio has very little momentum coming into week 4. With the Browns and Bengals both winless, there’s a lot on the line today.
As much as I hate to admit it, I have given the Browns’ defense too much credit. They have been very good against the run, but the weak secondary has been giving up too many big plays. This week could be a turning point for them though, with a struggling Andy Dalton coming to town. Dalton has struggled badly this year, with just two touchdown passes this year and four interceptions. This is the kind of matchup the Browns’ defense needs to try and get more pressure on Dalton, and force some mistakes. Without a solid pass rush, the secondary is struggling to contain receivers. Dalton does have big play play capabilities along with wideout A.J. Green, and they probably will make a few of them, but the defense needs to limit these and not let them control the entire game.
Neither team has been successful running the ball this year. Both feature running backs, the Browns’ Isaiah Crowell, and the Bengals’ Joe Mixon have barely broken the century mark in yards this year. With both of the quarterbacks struggling this year, opposing defenses have been able to slow down the running games, without many worries of getting burned by the passing game. The Browns’ quarterback, DeShone Kizer needs to learn how to take care of the ball. He has seven interceptions this year already, and when the offense is clicking, and moving well, these interceptions have killed the momentum. A lot of these mistakes are due to inexperience but he needs to learn quickly in this league.
Both of these teams are bad. Neither team has shown a lot of promise, but for the heck of it, I will make a pick. Cincy has the potential for a big game through the air. The Browns haven’t been at full strength this year on defense, and they will be missing several key pieces again this week. Kizer has shown that he can manage a drive, but has choked several times and either stalled out the drive, or turned the ball over. The two teams are going to play the kind of game where whoever makes the least mistakes is probably the team that will win. I just think that the Bengals have a few more weapons than Cleveland does, and will come out with the win. I figure the score to be close, and Cuncy will win 24-14
Keys to the game:
- Kizer needs to show he can take care of the ball. Stop turning it over.
- Can the Browns get their running game going.
- Wide receivers need to stop dropping passes.
- Can Andy Dalton prove he is still deserving of the starting job?
- If the Bengals defense keeps the pressure on Kizer, they will force turnovers and capitalize.