By Ryan Patterson
Editors Note - Be careful - Ryan is our
resident Bengals fan : )
The Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns will renew their
heated rivalry this Sunday. Both teams are 0-3 and desperate for a
victory. The game between these two Ohio rivals will take place at
Paul Brown Stadium, or in the “jungle” as Bengals fans like to call
their stadium. This is going to be a game to watch, as both teams
will fight barbarically to get their first win of the season.
Cleveland is exiting a 28-10 loss at Baltimore after leading 10-0 at
halftime. The defense completely collapsed in the third quarter,
allowing 14 points. The offense was also poor in the third quarter
allowing an interception to be returned for a touchdown.
Cincinnati loss a heartbreaker against the Giants in OT. They blew a
chance to win the game late in the 4th quarter due to clock
management. Instead of being able to score a touchdown, they had to
settle for a field goal. Eli Manning did a great job of picking
their secondary apart.
The Browns starting QB, Derek Anderson has struggled this season. He
was sacked five times, while throwing three interceptions last week
in Baltimore. Prior to that game, he threw two interceptions against
Pittsburgh. Romeo Crenel, head coach of the Browns said he is
considering starting backup QB and former Notre Dame star, Brady
Quinn. While he is an unknown, Quinn was magnificent in college, and
the Bengals have a knack for making rookie QB’s look like Joe
Montana. Take a look at Joe Flacco’s performance for the Ravens in
week 1 against the Bengals if you have any doubts.
The Browns offense ranks last in the NFL for PPG at 8.7, and they
are also last for total yards, racking up a mere 194 per game.
Cleveland is 30th in the NFL in rushing yards, at 72 per game.
Things are slightly better on the defensive side of the ball,
allowing 22 points per game which puts them at 18th in the league.
The Browns rank 18th in the league in passing yards allowed at 202
Carson Palmer had been less than stellar until last week when he
threw for 286 yards and 1 touchdown. His completion percentage was
69.2, after recording a percentage of 37.5, and 59.3 in the first
two games. He didn’t throw any interceptions last week, despite
throwing a combined 3 in the first two weeks. One stat does stick
out. Palmer was sacked six times last week. If the Bengals line can
protect him better, their offense could be scary good.
The Bengals offense on the whole has been poor, though not as bad as
the Browns. Ocho Cinco and Houshmanzadeh have gone unheard from thus
far in the year. If they Bengals are to compete, they need big plays
from these guys. They will also need RB Chris Perry to step up. The
Bengals rank 29th in PPG at 13.3. They are 30th in the NFL in total
yards at 238.7. Of those yards, 152 are passing and 87 are rushing.
On the defensive side of the ball, Cincinnati is giving up 22.3 PPG,
placing them at 21st in the NFL. They are allowing a huge 353 yards
per game. Their pass protection has been good, giving up only 178.7
passing yards per game, putting them at 12th in the league.
While both teams are struggling, I believe the Bengals have the most
upside. They played great last week, and will have home field
advantage. While they are a 3.5 point favorite, I think they should
win by at least a touchdown. Good luck, and be sure to tune in
Sunday at 1 PM to watch what will be a great football game!