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The West Press

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Browns @ Bengals Preview

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After the biggest disappointment in Cincinnati sports history, which says a lot, the now 5-3 Cincinnati Bengals return to Paul Brown Stadium for the first time in 3 weeks to take on the Cleveland Browns (4-4) for the first time this season. The Browns are coming off of a loss to the Steelers, but it wasn’t surprising considering Baker Mayfield’s arm seems to be hanging on by a thread at this point after suffering from labrum issues that started a few weeks prior. Here are some things to look for this weekend during this interesting matchup.

 

The Browns Are in Shambles

The Cleveland Browns are having an unbelievable amount of trouble right now with injuries, locker room drama, and more. Baker Mayfield has come and gone recently when it comes to being the team’s starting quarterback, which doesn’t sound like much of an issue considering that the Cleveland offense is run-heavy anyway. However, the RB room has also been pretty banged up as of late. Then, you have the Odell Beckham Jr. story which makes things look like he won’t be playing this week after being excluded from practice earlier in the week. Looking at this game, it feels like half the battle has been won already. All the Bengals have to do is just play with better execution than they played with last week against New York.

 

A Bounce Back Game for the Defense

How this much-improved defense managed to give up north of 400 yards to Mike White is beyond me. I think I speak for the entire fanbase when I say that most of the confidence this defense has given me this year just disappeared. With the Browns in the state they are in right now you know what is coming. Cincinnati’s run defense better be on it this Sunday

 

A Big AFC North Momentum Swing

A win for Cincinnati here would put Cleveland below .500, keep Cincinnati one game behind Baltimore (unless Baltimore loses), and it would also move the Bengals to 6-3 heading into the bye which would help our playoff odds increase quite a bit. I think Cincinnati will make a wildcard spot at minimum, but to contend for the division would be a whole lot cooler.

 

Predictions

I hate to say it, but I think Cleveland pulls off a win here. Cincinnati just needs to have a bounce-back game after last week and until I see it I have a hard time believing that’s what we will see out of this team on Sunday. I think Cleveland wins 27-23. The offense should stay dominant as it really wasn’t the problem last week and it really has never been a problem this year. All I can say is that a loss wouldn’t shock me, but neither would a win. After all, this is a must-win game for this team.

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About the Writer
Nick Johnson
Nick Johnson, Editor-in-Chief
Nick Johnson is a third-year journalism student in his senior year. Nick is very involved around the school, as a peer counseling lead team member and doing PA announcing for the baseball team in the spring. He is also a leader of the Lakota West Student Broadcasting Club. Nick enjoys writing about sports, specifically football, as he is a huge NFL fan. Specifically, he is a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions. He also does writing for other sports, and you can read all of his articles and more here on the West Press.

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