As the Cincinnati Bengals gear up to take on the Cleveland Browns, these X-factors will play a big part in deciding the outcome.
The Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns will kick off week 2 in the NFL on Thursday night in the Battle of Ohio. Both clubs enter the game with an 0-1 record, but with hopes that can still be met over the course of the season. Cleveland had aspirations of being a fringe playoff contender, while Cincinnati expects to see solid improvement and potential to build on for next season.
While starting with an 0-2 record does not eliminate a team from the playoffs, it does make for a long and winding path to compete in a very tough division. The winner of this game will be able to avoid that rocky start, build some momentum, and stay in the race for the AFC North.
Although both teams suffered defeat in the opening week, they did so in very different fashion. The Bengals lost a heartbreaker in Joe Burrow’s debut in what feels like was a very winnable game. Cleveland, however, got beat badly by Baltimore and the loss has the fanbase wondering if former first overall pick, Baker Mayfield, is the answer moving forward.
In a critical battle between two rivals, here are the biggest X-factors that will determine which team comes out victorious.