Game Preview: Bengals @ Browns


Game 15 – 2008 Bengals Season
Bengals at Browns, December 21, 2008 – 1pm EST
by kingwilly
How will the Bengals Offense Look?

Ryan Fudgepacktrick gets his 11th start of the year. The offensive woes are the fault of many but Fitzsimplejack has his portion of terrible play to account for.

Cleveland is in China-Syndrome mode, with players, coaches and fans all crumbling under the pressure of a massive let-down season, losing all but one game since the beginning of November. But here is the big “but”, BUT they are second in the NFL with 22INT’s. Likely to see some Fitzerceptions.

There is no clear future at the position of running back with the Bengals. Cedric Benson could return and have a head start on the job, Kenny Watson could also return and be the generally serviceable back we’ve seen for many seasons but there is not a clear plan for this position. Given the dreadful blocking this team has subjected the running backs to, I would not be so sure Benson would like another season long helping of running behind the sorry sacks we call the Bengals Offensive Line.

With Chris Perry hurting, James Johnson will get to see some time again today. Nice to see a young player on the field. I just wish we had some young WR’s to do the same with, wait, what?

After solid play against the Redskins (2 sacks), the line is doing the dead cat bounce. They had a staggering performance against the Eagles and during the bye week, not allowing any sacks and then played the Eagles well enough for the team to have a chance. Well, that must have been some kind of weird virus that had them playing well and now the virus is gone in two bad outings against the Ravens and Indy.

The Browns are not known for their sack total but they could pad their stats this weekend as good-looking rookie Anthony Collins continues to get the start at LT for the fragile Levi Jones.

After Ocho Dindong caught 5 passes for 79 yards in the loss to the Colts, he became a near non-factor in the win against the Redskins thus continuing his schizoid-season. TJ is on track to surpass 1000 yards again and is near league lead in receptions. With the lack of run game, here is to hoping TJ can salvage some pride and have a high reception game to keep him near the top of the stats. Chenry showed up last week in perhaps his best game in two years with 4 catches for 54 yards and a TD.

Without a known injury but plenty of roster management issues, Jerome Simpson is now being listed as inactive. Good thing he does not need to learn how to play NFL football or all this time inactive and standing on the sidelines might hinder his development.

How will the Bengals Defense Look?

With a destroyed group of players at DE, Antwan Odom (richest free agent in Bengals history) makes his 7th start this season. Not much to say here but the talent and developmentally challenged Ken Dorsey should have plenty of time to throw.

Jamal Lewis will also be keyed to get the Cleveland offense going properly. Pat Sims has played as well as any rookie DT I can recall and I would like to see more of Jason Shirley.

Lewis is always a challenge to the Bengals LB’s. He is a gash runner who can make plays in the middle and has a strong cut-back move. He catches the ball well (23 catches for 178 yards).

Nduke is playing hurt. David Jones was on the injured list this week and could be playing hurt and vulnerable. Hall, Fletcher, Pope, Castille, Crocker and Hebert are the names we’ll hear called often for 3 hours today. Hats off to Crocker for a great game against the Redskins and Hebert for running down Marvin Harrison against Indy. At least not everyone has given up.

How will the Special Teams Look?

Kyle Larson and Shayne Graham will be kicking in moderate winds so at least they have an environmental excuse for sucking.


InjuriesCarson Palmer just lingers with his elbow. Why they did not IR him is silly. Could have used his roster spot to bring someone along. With the generally crappy play by CJ and Henry, it would have been nice to have seen PS’r Mario Urrutia get some work in the league. Not much left to lose.

Stadium/Fans – The Dawg Pound is always a tough place to play. More so when Cincy comes to town.

Weather – Cold, windy and with snow probable. In other words, perfect.

Historically – All tied at 35-35

Relevant Stat – nothing relevant about this game.

Prognosis – Browns 13 – Bengals 27.