When the Browns Run the Ball:
This is not a good matchup for the Browns. The word “Bad” does not accurately portray the Browns run game. The Browns rank 26th in the NFL, averaging a pitiful 81.6 ypg (only 58.2 ypg from actual running backs). The Browns have yet to have a back go over 75 yards in a game, and in 1 game (Minnesota), there leading rusher was a defensive back (Josh Aubrey – 34 yds on 1 run). Only twice have the Browns had a back go over 46 yards, and one of those backs (Richardson) was traded. And don’t fool yourself, the abysmal running attack the Browns put on the field week after week is not the result of the Richardson trade. Richardson only had 105 yards in 2 games (3.4 ypc).
Through 9 games, the Browns have 734 rushing yards as a team. Of those yards, only 419 come from running backs currently on the team and 210 come from players that play positions not called running back (QBs, TEs, WRs and even DBs). When you think about it, it is amazing these numbers only put the Browns 26th in running! Making matters worse for the Browns when they visit Cincinnati is that the Bengals are stout against the run. The Bengals are 9th in the NFL against the run (102.0 ypg) – it is sad that if the Browns get to the Bengals 9th rated average (102 yds), that would be a great game. The Browns – as a team – have gotten over 102 yards twice this year – 103 in Minnesota thanks to a 34 yard run by a DB, and 126 against Detroit thanks to a 45 yard run by a WR.
In their previous meeting, the Browns collected 89 yards on 30 carries. So while the Browns “technically” have a run game, I am going out on a limb and predicting the Bengals will make the Browns run game a non-factor on Sunday.