If the Bengals cannot turn things around at home against the lowly Browns then we might be in for a long season. Losing to the Ravens, a super bowl pick by many as bad as they did is not a good sign but it is definitely not a nail in their coffin. A loss tomorrow and the 2012 Bengals could begin writing their obituary. It is rare that teams make the playoffs after starting 0-2. The Bengals are aware of this and will come out ready to play tomorrow at kickoff.
The key matchup for the Bengals offense is this one is going to AJ Green against a depleted Browns secondary with Joe Haden suspended. Look for Dalton to pick on whichever defensive back is assigned to Green as much as he can. It would not surprise me one bit if Green finishes tomorrow’s game with 8-10 catches and over 100 yards. The lack of depth in the Cleveland secondary will rear its ugly head tomorrow.
The Bengals running game was one bright spot from Monday night in Baltimore. Before the Ravens blew the game open and Cincinnati had to completely abandon it Green-Ellis was finding room to run. This was against one of the best run defenses in the league, so tomorrow against Cleveland the task should be even easier. The Bengals should be able to come out and show off the balanced attack that made them a handful offensively all season long last year.
The Browns offense might be just what the doctor ordered for Cincinnati’s defense. Rookie Brandon Weeden had one of the worse career debuts in recent memory and it does not usually get easier over night for rookie quarterbacks. On Monday night Joe Flacco appeared to be doing whatever he felt like in the pocket. This cannot be the case for Weeden. This is not a game where you want to give the Browns any life early. If they are given life they could gain confidence and become a nuisance. In no way am I saying there are easy games in the NFL because there are not but, the Bengals should win this one going away. I say Bengals 34-10 over Cleveland.