This Monday, the Cleveland Browns tackle the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8. Under, we analyze a number of benefits, disadvantages, or common ideas concerning the two groups earlier than attending to our predictions for the sport.
All of the Noise Surrounding the Browns
- The Browns have had the Bengals’ quantity the previous two years. Final 12 months, they handed the AFC Champions their worst lack of the season by a rating of 41-16. Joe Burrow threw a 99-yard decide six to open up the sport, Donovan Peoples-Jones caught a 60-yard landing cross, and Nick Chubb had a 70-yard landing run. It was a day full of massive performs towards a protection that has simply had plenty of issue stopping this Cleveland offense.
- Even with Cleveland’s struggles this season, we’re speaking a few league the place each workforce has their shortcomings — so for the Browns to have misplaced 4 straight video games, the chances have been towards them. Though the 2-5 report may not point out it, the attention check is aware of that Cleveland has gone down-to-the-wire in six of seven video games and of their losses have lacked that one play to be the distinction maker.
- The Browns face some extra adversity this week with RG Wyatt Teller and TE David Njoku out on offense. On protection, CB Denzel Ward remains to be out with a concussion. Compounding points with the depth at tight finish and cornerback is that Pharoah Brown, Greg Newsome, and Grasping Williams are all questionable to play with varied illnesses. Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah can also be questionable.
- One other query is whether or not this might be Kareem Hunt’s closing recreation as a member of the Browns, with the commerce deadline developing. Though Cleveland’s two-headed monster is a tremendous luxurious to have, at 2-5 and Hunt not below contract for subsequent season, it is sensible to select up an asset within the draft. D’Ernest Johnson has not been utilized in any respect this season, however after a powerful 2021 12 months in aid (except for some fumbles), it wouldn’t appear to be an enormous downgrade for the offense to have Johnson because the aid again to Nick Chubb.
- Regardless of all of the noise, that is the kind of recreation the place you work the Browns will need to pull out all of the stops for a win. They’ve a bye week developing, and stepping into that bye week at 3-5 — with Deshaun Watson’s return lower than a month away — would have the workforce in higher spirits. And as a lot because the Browns’ losses thus far have been demoralizing, in case you have a 2-1 division report with Watson coming again, that provides you an opportunity to go 5-1 throughout the division, which might make issues attention-grabbing down the stretch. In the event you lose this week, although, 2-6 just about cements it as a misplaced season.
From the Bengals’ Perspective
- After a tough begin to the season — I imply, this Bengals workforce misplaced to the Steelers, when you can imagine that — their offense has actually pulled it collectively. In his final 5 video games, Joe Burrow has thrown 13 touchdowns to simply 1 interception. In his final two video games (wins over the Saint and Falcons), he’s thrown for six touchdowns and 781 yards passing.
- However this Cincinnati offense isn’t far completely different from what we’ve seen previously. Burrow is absolutely good and might spark the passing recreation at any second, however he nonetheless takes plenty of hits and sacks, having been sacked 24 instances on the season. The Bengals additionally nonetheless don’t get an enormous push within the working recreation, with Joe Mixon averaging 3.3 yards per carry. Mixon himself is an efficient runner, after all, so the Browns should be on high of their run protection to stop one other Austin Ekeler state of affairs from taking place.
- The Bengals will probably be with out Ja’Marr Chase this week, which is definitely a assist for Cleveland, given their cornerback accidents. Nevertheless, PFF has the Bengals’ broad receiver group ranked first within the NFL, with Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd being simply as potent threats.
That is nonetheless the perfect broad receiver corps within the NFL, and it’s taking part in prefer it as soon as once more. All three receivers are able to going for over 125 yards in any given week — that’s what makes them so harmful. The Bengals could be clever so as to add some extra pace to the underside of this unit, however there actually isn’t a lot else to knock right here.
- The Browns’ broad receiver group, in the meantime, is ranked No. 22 by PFF, and will probably be going through a Bengals’ secondary that hasn’t allowed a ton of yards this season. With David Njoku out, Cleveland wants one other receiver to step up — I’m hoping that will probably be Kareem Hunt, but when it’s not a working again, then this might be David Bell or Michael Woods’ time to shine. Anthony Schwartz was a wholesome scratch final week.
Amari Cooper has been all the things the Browns might have hoped for and extra once they acquired him by way of commerce this offseason. He is an ideal match within the offense, already having a big impact. The issue is that the Browns haven’t gotten sufficient from the receivers not named Cooper. Peoples-Jones has been nice, however he’s a bit unreliable. Everybody else on the roster is grading out nicely under common this season.
- Cade York appeared to kick confidently towards the Ravens final week, and despite the fact that his 61-yarder was blocked to finish the sport, he thought it will go in if it hadn’t been blocked. Cleveland wants all the assistance they will get, as York’s area targets helped add as much as maintain them within the recreation final week.
- Though there haven’t been any rumors about teaching modifications with the Browns, one has to marvel if the bye week could be a time to make a change if Joe Woods’ group have been to put one other egg on protection. To be truthful, the group is coming off their greatest recreation of the season towards the Ravens, and it helped that Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney have been each in a position to play once more. Garrett, coming off the automotive accident a month in the past, has been taking part in his ass off.
- In accordance with DraftKings Sportsbook, the Browns are 3 level underdogs towards the Bengals.
Listed here are predictions from a number of workers members at DBN.
Chris Pokorny: “For no matter causes, name it…destiny, name it luck, name it karma, I imagine all the things occurs for a purpose. I imagine that we have been destined to get thrown outta this funk on Halloween night time.” Browns 31, Bengals 24
Thomas Moore: “As dangerous as issues have been lately for the Browns they’ve in some way discovered a technique to go 7-1 towards the Bengals because the begin of the 2018 season. That features a 3-0 report with Joe Burrow as Cincinnati’s quarterback because the Browns have 3 interceptions of Burrow and notched a dozen sacks. This sequence has been full of weird moments and Monday night time must be no exception because the Browns desperately attempt to keep away from turning into pumpkins on Halloween night time. Search for the Browns to proceed one of many league’s strangest streaks and head into the bye week celebrating a Victory Tuesday.” Browns 38, Bengals 28
Barry Shuck: “On one hand, I’ve zero religion in any portion of this workforce aside from the run recreation and all components related to this facet of the membership. The opposite hand is screaming to me that the Browns truly play alongside the higher groups and maintain these video games tight and really, shoulda, coulda, woulda received some in not all. The Bengals are an excellent workforce. So, as an alternative of my inclination to foretell a slaughter, let’s say the Browns will lose – simply barely.
Clearly, no comfort for any membership is 2-6 with the playoff tunnel’s gentle getting dimmer every week. Joe Burrow is the league’s second-leading quarterback. Cincinnati is the second-best passing workforce with the second-best quantity of touchdowns scored. Their working assault is fairly dismal so thank goodness we received’t have one other 200+ yards run throughout us this week. Or will we? The Chargers have been the worst dashing membership and made their man seem like a Corridor of Famer. We are able to run and we will typically cross. They’re pass-happy and we’ll see if the rookie Martin Emerson has what it takes. And Cincy has overwhelmed some good golf equipment like Miami, Atlanta and the Jets and misplaced to 2 good groups in Dallas and Baltimore. These two losses have been by a sum complete of 5 factors. So, they’re legit.” Bengals 27, Browns 20
Jared Mueller: “This recreation goes to be a really very bizarre one. Not solely is it Halloween night time and a divisional matchup however the two groups are going in numerous instructions.
Surprisingly, the Browns have performed the Bengals robust even when the expertise distinction was nice. Joe Haden, who’s being honored at this recreation, used to offer AJ Inexperienced matches up and down the sector, 12 months after 12 months.
In fact, I can’t predict a Cleveland victory. If Denzel Ward is ready to play it will be nearer to a toss-up however given the latest developments, Cincinnati comes up Route 71 and does simply sufficient to win on an Evan McPherson area purpose.” Bengals 27, Browns 24
Ezweav: “A number of weeks’ again I famous that the Patriots are only a dangerous matchup for us. Nicely, I believe we’re a nasty matchup for the Bengals this week in the identical method. Jonah Williams has been a reasonably good left sort out within the league however he merely can not deal with Myles Garrett. Their protection is pretty stout however we’ve got completely chewed them up on the bottom mainly since Nick Chubb was drafted.
Some people suppose the workforce has already packed it in and received’t present up anymore as a result of the season’s mainly over. I perceive frustration due to the loss however I don’t see the way you watch that recreation in Baltimore and conclude that guys don’t care. I believe there’s a boiling over anger mixed with some scheme benefits on each side of the ball that results in a lot completely different conclusion than persons are anticipating Monday Night time.” Browns 34, Bengals 19
Matt Wooden: “Can the DL dominate a recreation? Joe Burrow is pink sizzling however that may be slowed down with a cross rush. The Browns have had the Bengals quantity previously and I believe it continues. Browns trip Chubb and I believe we see much more Hunt this week too, perhaps at the same time as a commerce showcase. Browns play maintain away, pressure Joe Burrow into some pressured throws and get the 27-23 win.” Browns 27, Bengals 23
Who do you suppose will win, Browns followers? Tell us within the feedback part under.
Odds/strains topic to alter. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for particulars.