Ohio will be a football cauldron this upcoming weekend, as both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns will face off on Sunday, December 11 in a game that can seriously impact the postseason.
Each team comes into the encounter with reasons to be positive, although one thing is for sure: the Bengals will not want a repeat of the meeting on November 1, whereas you can guarantee the Browns would be planning to achieve the same outcome at the Paul Brown Stadium.
The Browns blew the Bengals away last time around
Entering Week 14, there will be fresh memories – whether good or bad – of what had happened in Week 8 of the 2022 NFL season, with the Browns recording a 32-13 victory over their state rivals at the FirstEnergy Stadium.
Experienced quarterback Jacoby Brissett was the leader of the team on the day as he managed to throw for one touchdown and 278 yards, while Nick Chubb was the man of the day as he was able to rush for two touchdowns, while the QB was able to rush for a further one, too. In fact, the run game was excellent for Cleveland and many may feel that this could be the way in which the Browns could potentially get the job done once again.
Nonetheless, while they have improved since that game, the fight for Ohio will certainly be a tougher proposition this time as the Bengals are a harder challenge than they would normally be when it comes down to playing potentially must-win football.
The Bengals have yet to lose since the embarrassing defeat to the Browns
For Zac Taylor’s franchise, then the best way for them to have gotten over that shock would have been to play the kind of football that had got them to the Super Bowl last season, and that is exactly what they have managed to achieve in the weeks since that embarrassing loss.
The Bengals have not been beaten since Week 8, with the team having been able to run riot through a number of opponents. This has included outscoring the Carolina Panthers 42-21; defeating AFC North divisional rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers 37-30 on the road; inflicting a 20-16 defeat away from home against the Tennesse Titans, and causing their own surprise as they managed to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend at home in a 27-24 victory.
Of course, a lot of the praise will go down to the players who have been able to turn things around and improve the organization to an 8-4 record in the AFC North, but there will be many that will be praising Taylor and the coaching staff for getting the team back to winning ways immediately and not letting it detract from their efforts in getting back to the postseason and potentially competing for the Super Bowl once again.
Indeed, there has been a lot of notice on the team and their pursuit to get back to the premier game, with the team being heavily favored by bookies as one of the main AFC candidates this season.
Fans who are already looking at the available BetMGM Offer in Ohio that can be obtained in time to use once the sportsbook and legal sports betting goes live in the state imminently can explore how they can get the most out of their betting experiences with it. Possibly many may use it on the end-of-season spectacular.
Whether the Bengals are able to get there may depend on whether they are able to right the wrong that they had experienced on November 1, but we know that the Browns will not let that happen all too easily…
Bengals vs Browns prediction
So, how will the fight for Ohio end up playing out? Well, it does not come as a surprise to learn that the hosts have opened up as the favorites.
As already revealed, the Bengals are currently on a four-game win streak since that defeat was experienced, with many of their key players having been able to perform to the best of their ability consistently.
Joe Burrow continues to be effective in the pocket with the ball and has managed to throw for 25 touchdowns so far, while he is regularly finding the offensive weapons that he has, with the likes of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins both being receptive to his throws. Additionally, the Bengals’ run game through Joe Mixon shows its effectiveness when utilized, while the defense often comes up with big plays.
Browns should be considered.
However, while there may be many touting that the hosts will be able to come out victorious in this game easily, there are a couple of things to note. The first, it is a game between two teams in the state of Ohio. Both will want to have bragging rights, and with the Browns already 1-0 in this regard on the season, you can guarantee they will want to have a clean sweep of this fixture.
Secondly, it is a game that will likely feature Deshaun Watson as he made his first start for Cleveland in the game against the Houston Texans. While he threw an interception and no passing touchdowns, he did lead them to the franchise’s first back-to-back wins of the season, having defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a week prior. With a QB like Watson involved, there is every chance that the Browns could achieve another win.
Last, but not least, the game is an AFC North divisional game, and with both organizations continue to vie for a postseason berth, there is still plenty to play for. This will undoubtedly make the game between the two teams at the Paul Brown Stadium this Sunday one that is highly competitive and see an hour of extremely competitive football be played out on the gridiron.