Over the last 10 years (since Marvin Lewis became the Bengals coach), the Bengals have dominated the Battle of Ohio 15-5. During those 10 years, the Bengals have an overall record of 81-81-1 and just 2 seasons of double-digit losses. In that same time period, the Browns are 53-110 and have 9 seasons of double-digit losses.
However, no matter how lopsided the game looks on paper, the game itself if rarely lopsided. In those 10 years, the Bengals have outscored the Browns 516-402, or by an average of just 5.8 ppg. The last 20 meetings have only seen 3 games decided by more than 14 points (2004-Browns 34-17; and 2006-Bengals 34-17 and Bengals 30-0).
In fact, take out 2006, and the Bengals have outscored the Browns by a less than 4 points per game (452-385). In the last 6 matchups, the Bengals are 4-2 but have only outscored the Browns by 9 total points. So what does this all mean?
Nothing really. But chances are, the game will be closer than we think.
What to Look For….
When the Browns Run the Ball:
This isn’t a joke. The Browns will try and run the ball at some point Sunday. On the year, the Browns have a total of 215 rushing yards – 105 of which were traded to Indianapolis (Richardson), 34 of which have come from a DB (Aubrey), 22 of which have come from a WR (Gordon) and 5 of which have come from a QB (7 – Weeden, -2 Hoyer).
That leaves 49 yards from actual RBs. Their started for Sunday (McGahee) just joined the team last week and has 9 yards on 8 carries. So while the Browns “technically” have a run game, I am going to say the Bengals (like all 3 teams before them), make the Browns run game a non-factor.