Nov 5, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) carries the ball in the second half against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cincinnati Bengals will head to Cleveland to face the Browns in part two of the Battle of Ohio. The Bengals were dominate on Thursday Night Football in November when they faced off, but now they will have to do it again against a new quarterback, Austin Davis, making his first NFL start.
The Bengals will need to have a repeat performance from their first match up, when they dominated the second half on both sides of the ball. The offense saw a huge boost in their balanced offense, as both Hill and Bernard had stand out games. The big difference this time around to last, the Bengals will be Eifert-less. Tyler Eifert had 3 touchdown catches in the first match up, but will be missing with a neck “stinger” as he missed every practice this week.
A.J. Green and Marvin Jones both played vital roles in moving the ball, combining for 132 yards. They played a vital role, as well as Mohamed Sanu, who scored on an end around touchdown. As good as this offense is when everyone is healthy, they have plenty of weapons to overcome one player, including a young tight end in Tyler Kroft, who is ready for his opportunity.
The Bengals defense will look to make Austin Davis as uncomfortable as Johnny Manziel was in his two starts against the Bengals. The defensive line, led by Geno Atkins, will look to pressure the inexperienced quarterback and force him out of the pocket and make bad throws. The secondary will look to shut down a wide receiver core that has undervalued talent in Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe. If Davis can find a way to get them the ball, it could be a good game.
The Brown’s secondary will be missing Joe Haden for the second week in a row and both times they have faced the Bengals. They will need to overcome one of the most talented wide receiving cores in football. The focus will be to figure out a way to get ahead of the Bengals and disrupt the balanced offense. Justin Gilbert and Donte Whitner will be a focal point to any defensive secondary success they have. If the Browns find a way to control the football, the Bengals may see a much closer game this time around.