Week 4: Browns-Bengals Open Thread

browns, bengals

browns, bengals

Brownie’s BACK! The Cleveland version of the Battle of Ohio takes place today. Both teams are coming off of wins in the final minute last week, and a win could pull the Browns to .500, a position that looked impossible as little as two weeks ago. Here are a few keys that I’m going to be looking for (in between Tribe commercials, of course).

How the Browns handle the Bengals pair of running backs

I’m way more concerned about Giovani Bernard than I am Benjarvus Green-Ellis. Green-Ellis isn’t explosive (he’s had under 30 yards rushing in 2 of 3 games), but he’s good getting those short yardage pick-ups. Bernard could really hurt the Browns out in space in the screen game or running sweeps and such. Bernard had 14 touches for 99 total yards and 1 touchdown last week vs. Green Bay, so he scares me way more today. The Browns’ rush defense has been the strength of this team thus far, and it will need to answer the bell once again.

Can the Browns continue to air it out and exploit a banged up Bengals defensive backfield?

Three Bengals DBs are listed as doubtful for this afternoon’s game (Dre Kirkpatrick, Reggie Nelson, and Leon Hall). Can the Browns stretch the field and find Gordon, Benjamin, and Cameron on deep routes? Can Bess and Little effectively work the underneath and mid-range passing game? It’s a lot to ask from Brian Hoyer against this very good Bengals defense, but it’s what has to happen to get the W this afternoon.

Will the “committee of running backs” combine for at least 75 yards rushing? 

It’d be nice to see someone between Chris Ogbonnaya, Willis McGahee, or Bobby Rainey break a few runs and give the Browns offense some balance. Otherwise, it puts just too much pressure on Hoyer to execute and the blitzes will start coming (and they won’t stop comin’). McGahee has said he will do better this week. I expect him to do so. Also, they can’t forget about Ogbonnaya catching screens and dumpoffs out of the backfield. It’s worked before, and it could work again.


Here’s some links to wet your whistle ahead of kickoff from this past week at WFNY:

Rick – Thomas sets bar with 100th consecutive start

Rick – Browns Film Room Three: Pressure!

Scott – On Josh Gordon’s Numbers and Joe Banner’s Word

Kirk – Mixed emotions after a Browns’ win



  • Clint

    “and they won’t stop comin” Smash Mouth reference?

  • WFNYKirk

    Yessir, great catch.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Cameron over Mays I wonder if that happened back at USC too?

    Nice play design to Benjamin on that screen like play.

  • Jared in LA

    Every missed field goal seems like the ghost of Phil Dawson is lurking. He made it look so easy for so many years. As always, this team has little margin for error.

  • Wow

    Should be up 10

  • FearTheElf

    Can the Browns score a touchdown please??

  • FearTheElf

    Browns need to find the endzone. After all this time Cincy is still only a touchdown away from tying the game. Even after turnovers and good field position the Browns aren’t taking advantage. Score a TD!!

  • MrCleaveland


  • Wow

    Great day for Cleveland fans.

  • stryker1121

    Great day, what can you say? Browns D legit, esp up front. Hoyer’s far from perfect but the man makes plays. Going to be a crazy week of sports in CLE.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Defense is proving they are for real. Never dreamt the secondary could perform like this BUT still a long season with plenty of good offenses to go but so far so good. Haden hands down has made the move to elite corner.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Dawson hasn’t been great in SF but you can’t help but think how nice it would have been if he stayed. I think they need to look at someone else this week for kicker.

  • stryker1121

    Haden has erased every WR he’s been up against this year. Was at the game today, and he was on AJ Green like fly-paper all day.