Saturday, October 2, 2010

Are you sitting down?

Well, you better when you read the following sentence.

The Cleveland Browns will defeat the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium. It won't be pretty. It won't be a classic by any stretch of the imagination. And it won't be replayed as one of the games of the week on the NFL Network.

But it will be a Browns victory.


Simply because the Bengals have not played well all season long on offense and if there's anything the Browns do well thus far this season, it's play good defense. Not great, but well enough to keep the final scores close. And Sunday, they'll continue Carson Palmer's very ordinary season.

You'd think the Cincinnati quarterback, with wide receivers like Chad 88 and Terrell Owens, a running back like Cedric Benson and an offensive line that averages nearly 6-6 and 326 pounds (center Kyle Cook is the midget at 6-3, 316), would be off the charts with his stats this season.

The Bengals have averaged 93 yards a game on the ground and Palmer, uncharacteristically erratic while completing just 56% of his passes, has thrown for just three scores and three interceptions. The team has reached the end zone just five times overall.

The Bengals have played very much like the Browns in many ways this season. Not much on offense and a strong defense. They've allowed just 17 points in their last two games after getting blown out by New England in the season opener.

And like the Browns, they've had problems reaching the opposing quarterback with just two sacks. That's one of the main reasons I like the Browns Sunday. The Bengals won't get close enough to whoever starts at quarterback for Cleveland. Whether it's Jake Delhomme and/or Seneca Wallace, look for the Browns to throw more.

You can bet the Bengals will load the box in an effort to stop Peyton Hillis, almost daring Delhomme and/or Wallace to throw the ball. If the Browns are smart, they'll try to stretch the field early (involve more than just one wide receiver), loosen up the Cincy defense and give Hillis room to batter his way to another 100-yard game.

Defensively, the Browns have improved dramatically at stopping the run with just 117 yards a game this season. That might not look overly impressive, but when you consider they allowed at least 20 more yards per game the last three seasons, that stat is impressive.

If Rob Ryan continues haul out his blitz packages, the Browns will be in this one right down to the final couple of minutes. And they'll reward the home folks with a victory. Make it:

Browns 16, Bengals 13


  1. I feel a disturbance in the force, as if a thousand Browns fans all cried out at once.... "Wha?".

    Good to see you're telling it as you see it, as always, Rich.

  2. You mean WTF? Has he lost his mind? Nah. Just had an epiphany and had to share it with the fans. It's nice to put the gloves back on and spar with a few of them.

  3. That last post is mine. Somehow, my wife's name got attached to it. All the words and thoughts in that post belong to me.

  4. Hello Sir,
    Glad to have found your blog.
    Proof I used to listen to you on the radio
    your last 3 words when taking phone calls
    "Go ahead please"

  5. If it's not asking too much, please spread the word about the blog. Can't help using the word "please." It's the way I was raised.

  6. It is always refreshing to read your views.


    I hope you see another Browns win next week against Atlanta!