Last Week’s Record: 9-4
Overall Record: 72-46
CLEVELAND BROWNS (5-3) AT CINCINNATI BENGALS (5-2-1)
Week 9 Results
Browns: W (22-17) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bengals: W (33-23) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Despite coming away with a victory, and a 5-3 record, the Browns did not look good last week. Brian Hoyer completed 61% of his passes for 300 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, but he made numerous ill-advised throws that were not accounted for in his statline. Furthermore, Cleveland’s run game was atrocious, particularly Ben Tate, who averaged 0.3 yards per carry en route to a whopping 10 yards. Fumbling issues aside, head coach Mike Pettine should strongly consider playing Isaiah Crowell, who has been the most impressive of Cleveland’s RBs this season:
AJ Green had a rather average return from injury, catching 3 passes for 44 yards and 1 touchdown. Interestingly enough, he was outplayed by fellow receiver Mohamed Sanu, who had 95 yards and 1 TD on 4 receptions. In terms of this week’s matchup, the former can expect to see a lot of Cleveland’s star CB Joe Haden and S Tashaun Gipson (league-leading 6 INTs), while the latter will most likely be shadowed by the burnable Buster Skrine.
Although Gio Bernard, a key dual-threat component in the Bengals’ offensive attack, sat out last week with an injured hip and shoulder, rookie RB Jeremy Hill made sure his absence was not felt. Hill rushed for 154 yards and 2 TDs on 24 carries, including a late 60-yard TD run to seal the victory; he should have no trouble putting together an equally impressive performance. However, QB Andy Dalton, who played at a similar level as Hoyer last week (61%, 233 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs), will need to step it up to beat the Browns’ underrated secondary.
Players to Watch: Tashaun Gipson (S – CLE), Jeremy Hill (RB – CIN)