Battles with long time rivals, state rivals, will turn out to be a great game the majority of the time. It doesn’t matter what the opposing team’s record is, anything can happen, and on Sunday it did when the Cincinnati Bengals went to face their stat rivals – the Cleveland Browns.
Majority of football fans and analysts believe that the Bengals would walk all over the Browns after their comeback win against the Packers last week. Maybe the Bengals and armchair analysts were prematurely confident and forgot rivalries bring out the weirdest in sporting events. The Browns defeated the Bengals 17-6, making each team 2-2 in the AFC North. The Browns now are sparking hop back into their fan base with this win, showing everyone that although Trent Richardson might be gone the Browns have not quit.
The Bengals on the other hand are supposed to have a great season and make the post season for the third straight year, and fter this game I’m sure some Bengals fans are concerned by the outcome against the Browns. Andy Dalton wasn’t very good to put it mildly; he had no touchdown passes during the game, going 23/42 with 206 yards and one interception. Once again, the opposing team held down AJ Green with cornerback Joe Haden, Green would only have 7 receptions for 51 yards and of course the big goose egg in the TD category. The only points came from Mike Nugent, who kicked 2 field goals during the game.
Brian Hoyer, who started his second straight game for the injured Brandon Weeden, may just take Weeden’s job if he keeps up the good work for the Browns. Hoyer went 25/38, 269 yards and two touchdown passes. This wasn’t a blow-out, and the Bengals could have easily won this game as they were only two TDs away from winning it. The team needs to address their offense and look at the footage from the past games and figure out how to make more plays and score more often without relying on AJ Green. Until the Bengals have a solid #2 wide out, Green will be double covered all day.
Giovanni Bernard was also stopped by the Browns defense many times throughout the game, only carrying the ball only 10 times for 37 yards. Got to hand it to the Browns – they stopped the Bengals and won the game fair and square, and in the end they really deserved the win.
As for Cincy, back to the drawing board for this team they better practice hard and prepare for a tough game next week against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. What the Bengals need to do is look at all the good things they did against the Bears, Steelers and Packers and try to incorporate that in their practices so they can try their best to beat the Patriots. Luckily for the Bengals the game is in Cincinnati.
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