How The Bengals Can Defeat The Browns On Thursday Night Football

Cleveland (-260) is favored by 6.0 points over Cincinnati (+210) with the over/under set at 44.0 total points

Quick-Hitters

  • The Cincinnati Bengals face a virtual must-win game on Thursday Night Football against the Cleveland Browns, as both teams try to avoid an 0-2 start to the season.

  • The Bengals need to be stronger in the front-7 and do a better job against the run, including pressuring the quarterback.

  • Despite making two long field goals, Randy Bullock missed what should have been an easy 31-yard field goal to force overtime in Week 1, a fate that he can’t repeat in Week 2.

  • Cleveland (-260) is heavily favored over Cincinnati (+210) with the over/under set at 44.0 total points. The Browns are 6.0-point favorites. CLICK HERE FOR LIVE GAME ODDS!


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Rookie Progression

It’s hard to complain too much about the performance of Joe Burrow in his pro debut. He completed 23-of-36 passes for 193 yards while also running for a touchdown. With the game on the line, he drove the Cincinnati Bengals offense down the field to set up what should have been a game-tying field goal that was missed.

Even on a short week, the Bengals will need some progression from Burrow between games one and two. The Cleveland Browns defense will be upset and motivated after giving up 38 points to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1. The Browns will be eager to prove that they’re better than that. More importantly, they have a pass rush that can rattle a rookie.

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Win In The Trenches

The Cincinnati front-seven was problematic in the Week 1 loss. The Bengals allowed the Los Angeles Chargers to rush for over 150 yards with Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley gaining at least 60 yards each. It won’t get any easier against Cleveland’s backfield tandem of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb.

In a losing effort, Cleveland running backs gained over 5.0 yards per carry. The Bengals need to get a better handle on the running game and force Baker Mayfield to beat them. If the Cincinnati defense can force Mayfield to drive the offense and get some pressure on him, then mistakes and turnovers could help them out.

Red Zone Conversions

Randy Bullock’s missed 31-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter could come back to haunt the Bengals later in the season. Cincinnati can’t afford to leave points on the field against a division rival. Oddly enough, Bullock made two long field goals earlier in the game, only to miss an easy one in crunch time. In fairness, Burrow and the offense need to do a better job of finishing drives when they make it to the red zone. If the Bengals don’t cash-in on scoring chances on Thursday, they’ll have a hard time defeating the Browns.

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