Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns: By the numbers

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 23: Andrew Whitworth
CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 23: Andrew Whitworth /

The winless Bengals travel north on Sunday to meet division-rival Cleveland. Here are the numbers you need to know for the Week 4 matchup.

18: Years since the last winless Battle of Ohio in Cleveland

The last time the Bengals and Browns were winless this deep in the season and faced off in Cleveland was October 3, 1999 (in 2002, both teams were 0-1 when the Browns won a week-two contest in Cleveland). Trailing by five with 2:04 left, the Bengals (0-4) drove 80 yards behind rookie quarterback Akili Smith, who completed five of seven passes for 51 yards and found Carl Pickens for the game-winning two-yard score with nine seconds remaining.

That day stood as one of the few bright spots of Smith’s NFL career. Two of his three career wins came courtesy of the Browns. The other was when he completed two passes and Corey Dillon broke the NFL’s single-game rushing record against Denver in 2000.

102.2: Average opponent passer rating allowed by the Browns this season

Quarterbacks have had a field day in three games against Cleveland’s 26th-ranked scoring defense, which is yielding over 25 points per game. Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco and Jacoby Brissett have combined for a passer rating of 102.2.

Brissett, in his fourth career start, had the better performance out of the three. Last week in Indianapolis, Brissett threw for 259 yards, one touchdown and added two rushing scores as the Colts edged Cleveland, 31-28.

What hasn’t helped the Browns defense has been turnovers by their offense. Cleveland is tied with Cincinnati for the league’s second-worst turnover differential (-5). Opponents have scored 24 points off takeaways against Cleveland this season.

56: Percent of offensive snaps that featured A.J. Green or Joe Mixon in Week 3

The Bengals had their best offensive performance of the young season last Sunday in Green Bay. In his debut as the offensive coordinator, Bill Lazor centered the offense around two of his premiere playmakers. Joe Mixon had a team-high 18 carries and caught all three of his targets, while A.J. Green snagged 10 of his team-high 13 targets for 111 yards and Cincinnati’s first touchdown of the season.

The committee backfield that caused headaches in the first two games of the season was no more. Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill were not featured as much, combining for 43 yards on 10 carries.

50: Percent chance that Myles Garrett makes his professional debut

Under the old rules for reporting an injured player’s game status, “questionable” meant they had a 50/50 shot at suiting up. Myles Garrett, the number-one pick in last April’s draft, is questionable for Sunday’s game with an ankle injury he suffered in practice earlier this month.

Garrett had 32.5 sacks over his three-year career at Texas A&M. He was named first-team All-SEC in 2015 and 2016. If he plays on Sunday, he’ll have a favorable matchup against a Cincinnati front that has allowed 11 sacks this season, tied for fourth-most in the league.

He will also aid a Cleveland defense that has struggled to rush the passer this season. The Browns have six sacks – tied for 21st in the NFL – with fourth-year linebacker Christian Kirksey leading the club with 1.5.

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2: Straight games missed by John Ross and Tyler Eifert 

For the second straight week, the Bengals will be without Pro-Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert (back) and rookie receiver John Ross (knee).

Sunday will bring Eifert’s amount of missed games up to 29 (only playing in 24) since the start of 2014. Ross has only played in one game so far in his rookie campaign. The first-round speedster continues to battle a knee issue he sustained during the preseason.

Linebacker Jordan Evans (hamstring) has been ruled out and backup safety Derron Smith (ankle) is questionable.

Guard Trey Hopkins (knee) missed the last two games. The Texas product was limited in practice Wednesday-Friday and also got the questionable tag.

9-3: Andy Dalton’s record against the Browns

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It’s been nearly three years since Cincinnati’s last loss to its in-state rival. However, it was dubiously a memorable night. On a Thursday night primetime affair, Andy Dalton had a career-worst 2.0 quarterback rating, throwing three interceptions in Cincinnati’s 24-3 home loss. Dalton has recovered against the Browns, though. In five games since (all wins), Dalton has thrown nine touchdowns and zero interceptions. And a QB rating of 112-plus in the last four contests.

After a five-turnover season-opener against the Ravens, Dalton has completed 66.1 percent of his passes (41-of-62) for 436 yards and two touchdowns and has not turned the ball over. If he can lead Cincinnati to its first win of 2017, Dalton would join Ken Anderson (13) and Boomer Esiason (11) as the only quarterbacks in franchise history to win double-digit games in the Battle of Ohio.

A victory on Sunday also sets the longest Bengals’ winning streak in the series. Cincinnati previously won five straight from 2004-’06. The longest such streak in the rivalry belongs to Bill Belichick’s Browns, a seven-game stretch from 1992-’95 which finalized in the last game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. 

16-11: Marvin Lewi’ record against rookie quarterbacks

The 15th-year head coach has a winning record against first-year signal-callers. He’ll gameplan for rookie DeShone Kizer this Sunday. The 21-year-old was a second-round pick in April, the 27th different Browns’ starting quarterback since 1999.

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Lewis is 0-1 already against rookies this year. Despite holding Texans’ quarterback DeShaun Watson to 125 yards passing, the dual-threat quarterback’s 49-yard run was the game’s only touchdown in a 13-9 Houston victory.

Paul Guenther, who has his defense ranked in the top-10 in scoring (9th), passing (4th) and sacks (6th) going into Sunday, is 4-2 against rookie quarterbacks since taking over in 2014 with wins against Blake Bortles (’14), Johnny Manziel (’14), Cody Kessler (’16) and Carson Wentz (’16). The losses were against Dak Prescott (’16) and Watson.