Can the Browns finish the season on a winning note? Will Freddie Kitchen’s keep his job with all the rumors running about? The Bengals have the first pick locked for the 2020 draft, and everyone is pretty sure that pick will be Joe Burrow. There is a game that has to be played before that happens. We will take a look at how the Browns and Bengals will match up for the second time this season and who should win.
The season of struggling offenses
The Browns offense has had one real bright spot this whole year, Nick Chubb. This could be the first time since Jim Brown, Marion Motley, and Leroy Kelly that a Browns player leads the league. The addition of Kareem Hunt has been a pleasant surprise, but Kitchen’s has not been able to get him free. The offensive line struggles this year have plagued this team and its passing game. Where it seems like other offenses get their players open, we cannot. Baker needs to take care of the football and take what the defense gives him. Hopefully, Odell Beckham Jr. will be able to go as he has missed some practice time this week with an illness.
Since the Bengals turned back to veteran, Andy Dalton, they have had spurts of playing well, but only Joe Mixon has been consistent. A.J. Green has missed the whole season with a foot injury, and the Bengals haven’t had anyone step up. Tyler Boyd has had a decent season, but he will only ever be a number two type receiver. The Bengals should follow a similar game plan as the first meeting and run Mixon. Mixon ran all over the Browns defense for 146 yards. This game might not be a guaranteed win for the Browns.
Who’s defense will prevail
Cleveland’s defense has not been the same since the loss of Myles Garrett. The defensive line has been getting handled each week since. Joe Schobert and Mack Wilson are going to have to play better this time around if they hope to control Mixon. Damarious Randall needs to bounce back with a good game after giving up two big plays on defense last week to the Ravens tight ends. In the first meeting, the Bengals were attacking Greedy Williams and T. J. Carrie. As long as the Browns can better control the Bengals running game, this game should go the way of the Browns.
The Bengals were able to keep Chubb under wraps for the most part but still got 106 yards. If they can force Baker into interceptions as they did in the first game, the offense needs to turn those into points. This is a team that does not get penalized much, but the defense had some flag problems the first time around. Cincinnati has nothing to lose with playing at home, so expect them to play hard without care. The defensive line is their strength, it will be essential for Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins.
Final thoughts for this game
The Cleveland Browns had the chance to have two seasons of at least seven wins. It has been a long time since they’ve had some success. This year overall, for most fans, has been a disappointment. With expectations not met this year, the Browns need to decide to keep Freddie and whether changes are required on this staff. If John Dorsey’s plan comes to fruition, his goal was always the 2020 season. They have more draft capital to work with and cap space for free agents. Finish on a positive note and add those missing pieces that put us over the hump and into the playoffs.
With having the first pick already wrapped up, it doesn’t matter if the Bengals win or not. This will be a game for pride and protecting your home turf. It will be interesting to see what the Bengals do with Dalton, especially since everyone is pegging them with Joe Burrow. The Bengals are not entirely lost on talent. They have pieces like Mixon, Tyler Boyd, and Green when he comes back healthy. This should be a highly contested game, as this is for the bragging rights of Ohio.
Prediction: Browns 27 Bengals 17
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