If the Bengals can wrap up and swarm to the ball, then Richardson will eventually be brought down, even if not by the first or second attempt. The best strategy is to get on top early to negate the running game, but if the Browns keep it close, then we will see a heavy dose of Richarson.
Although the zone running game is employed by the Browns, Richarson excels as a downhill runner. When he is very dangerous, he can accelerate into a hole and run through arm tackles attempted by poorly-positioned defenders.
In the first-quarter touchdown run by Richardson, the Browns were able to open up a hole inside by having the backside guard kick out the defensive end while left tackle Joe Thomas pulled inside to lead block. Once Richardson hits a hole with a full head of steam, he is very difficult to break down.
Flying into a gap has not been the Bengals’ weakness, but rather keeping backside contain. If the Bengals can clog up the hole, Richardson will chop his feet and slow down, making a tackle much more manageable.