Game Scout: Browns at Bengals

Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Cleveland Browns (4-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati - TV: CBS
*TV announcers: Marv Albert, Rich Gannon
*Keys to the game: With RB Willis McGahee averaging only 2.6 yards per carry, the Bengals are free to pin back the ears of their defensive linemen and get after QB Jason Campbell. The Browns are protecting well -- three sacks in 75 pass attempts by Campbell -- who has shaken off the extra hits and pressure to out-produce Brian Hoyer (each played in three games). TE Jordan Cameron caught 10 passes for 91 yards in the first meeting -- a 17-6 Cleveland win -- when the Browns hit on three pass plays of 30-plus yards. But the key for Cleveland was two drives of 90-plus yards that kept the ball away from Bengals QB Andy Dalton. The Browns need another strong showing defensively to get to 5-5. Dalton has been sacked 10 times with six interceptions in the past two games. Dalton was effective getting the ball to secondary receivers during a four-game winning streak. Of late, RB Giovani Bernard has been the lone reliable outlet other than WR A.J. Green. Bernard had 75 total yards in the first meeting (37 rushing).
*Matchup to watch - Browns CB Joe Haden vs. Bengals WR A.J. Green -- One reason the Browns beat the Bengals eight weeks ago is Haden held Green to 51 yards receiving on seven catches. Green's longest pass play was 16 yards. There is no matchup that gets Haden more hyped. Green caught eight passes for 151 yards and a touchdown in Baltimore last week.
*Player spotlight - Bengals MLB Vinny Rey: He became the first player in team history to get three sacks and an interception in the same game last week and is expected to get one more start at middle linebacker with Rey Maualuga still out due to a knee injury.
*Fast facts: Cincinnati has gone 10 games without a 100-yard rusher for the first time in franchise history. ... The Browns last won multiple road games in a season in 2010 (at New Orleans, Miami). Cleveland won at Minnesota Sept. 22.
Jason Campbell is capable of steering the Browns to a victory if the Bengals allow him to get comfortable from the pocket. But absent a Cleveland running game, Cincinnati will find ways to dictate the tempo on both sides of the ball.
*Our pick: Bengals 26-17

What to Read Next