Now that you have read that it is interesting that the Browns and Bengals have the advantage in the same match-ups. If the Browns defense has the advantage so does the Bengals defense and so on and so forth. The one match-up where that was not true, or possible, was at the quarterback position. While Brian Hoyer had a good first game and Bengals’ fans aren’t enamored with Dalton, Dalton still has a better track record and provides a stabilizing factor that Hoyer hasn’t had yet.
With the Browns coming back after a win against the Vikings and the return of Brownie the Elf, the fans should be excited and energetic. A far cry from what would of happened had the team lost after the trade of Trent Richardson. Both teams start the game slowly trying to get a feel for what will be possible against tough defenses. Both teams will try to get a run game going but find tough sledding. The Bengals will take a 3-0 lead into the second quarter.
The second quarter will open up offensively for both teams. The Browns will score the first touchdown following a play action pass to Josh Gordon leading to a long reception which then leads to a Devone Bess short touchdown reception. The Bengals answer 2 possessions later on a screen/swing pass to rookie Giovani Bernard. The Bengals go into the half up 10-7.
The third quarter mirrors the first quarter, a run focused, cautious offensive play calling. Expect a turnover by each team, an INT from Hoyer and a fumble from Dalton. The Browns are able to dink and dunk their way down to the redzone but a key sack keeps them from the endzone. The Browns tie up the game 10-10 going into the 4th quarter.
Expect a big 4th quarter with the offenses forgetting about the run game and throwing the ball all over the field. This leads to a big INT from both QBs and 10 points scored by each team going into the final 4 minutes of the game. With the score tied 20-20 the Browns are unable to come up with a first down to keep the ball. They punt to Adam Jones who has a decent return setting up the Bengals, and ex-Buckeye Mike Nugent, for the game winning field goal.
Prediction: Bengals 23 Browns 20
The Browns gain respect for playing the Bengals tough but can’t pull the game off. The Bengals pull out a game after a huge win the previous week, overcoming the trap game against the up and coming young team from the Northern part of Ohio. The Browns miss OLBs Jabaal Sheard and Quentin Groves due their injuries. They get pressure but run out of energy late in the fourth.