It’s the time of year that Bengals fans are all too familiar with, the time of year when Cincy is getting ready to play a game that has little meaning, except to the other team. Considering that the last time these two teams clashed, the Browns started the Bengals down a winding, losing path. It would be nice to see the Queen City Cats get a little pay back. Of course if Carson and crew do win the game, they actually hurt themselves by assuring the team has nothing better than a middle of the pack draft pick.
When the Bengals have the ball
This has been a dreadful season overrall, but while most people expected the defense to be shaky, no one really expected the offense to be so unreliable. Carson Palmer is just one interception shy of his career high (with two games to go) and Rudi Johnson has looked about as bad as anyone could have possibly thought. Johnson will not today, as he missed quite a bit of practice time with a hamstring injury. That means it will be up to Kenny Watson, and Stripe Hype‘s adopted Bengal, DeDe Dorsey, to establish a running game against the league’s 28th ranked rush defense.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh , fresh off his first Pro-Bowl selection will look to remind everyone why he’s going to Hawaii against the Browns’ 29th ranked pass defense. Maybe Bob Bratkowski will give Bengals fans an early Christmas Present and actually tailor a game plan to match his opponent for once this season.
Chad Johnson needs 15 catches over the next two games to reach 100, the first time in his career he’s reached that mark, and the first time in team history that two players have each reached 100 catches in the same season.
When the Browns have the ball
Derek Anderson and the Browns’ offense has been a touchdown scoring machine. Anderson has two targets through the air that offset the Bengals’ Ocho and T.J. quite nicely in wide receiver Braylon Edwards, and tight end Kellen Winslow. Winslow leads the team in receptions with 71, and needs just 29 yards to reach 1,000. Edwards has already passed that mark, and is looking to add to his eye popping 13 touchdown catches.
The Browns offense isn’t all about the air attack though, Jamal Lewis might just have resurrected his career in Cleveland by rushing for over 1,000 yards this season, and finding the endzone nine times.
Stripe Hype final call
Many an opponent has tried to figure out a way to stop the Cleveland attack, I don’t expect a defense that couldn’t solve Shaun Hill to be much of a roadblock to Derek Anderson and company. Browns win it 28-17