Joe Burrow is 0-3 against the Browns but can that change on Halloween?

Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Burrow
Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Burrow / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Only in his 3rd season, Joe Burrow has already seen a great deal of success in his young NFL career. He's broken countless franchise records, won an award (CPOY 2021), and, most importantly, led the Bengals to relevance again by leading them to their first playoff win in 31 years and all the way to the Super Bowl. While he and the Bengals would eventually lose in the big game, Joe Burrow's impact on this franchise cannot be overstated.

However, if there's one thing Burrow hasn't seen any success in, it's beating the Browns. Leading into their Monday night, Halloween matchup against their in-state rivals, Burrow is 0-3 against Cleveland and had arguably the worst game of his career (so far) against them last year when he threw 2 interceptions to 0 touchdowns and finished with a substandard 69.0 passer rating.

So, can Burrow break the curse and lead the Bengals to their first win against their in-state rivals since he's taken the helm? The answer isn't as clear as you'd think, and in the end, the catalyst of the game might not even come down to the third-year quarterback.

How the Bengals can beat the Browns on Halloween

While Burrow's performance will naturally play a big role in deciding the course of this game, there's someone- or a group of people rather- whose role may be more crucial in this divisional matchup. The front seven. Specifically, how they will handle the run.

Through the first half of the season, the Bengals' defense has looked great. In the second half, when they've been lights out, not allowing a single touchdown after the first 30 minutes. However, their run defense, after looking as stout as the rest of the unit through the first five games of the season, has struggled lately, both due to a mix of injuries and the teams they have played.

They allowed over 200 yards rushing in Week 6 in the Bayou, and allowed 107 this past week against the Falcons, although most of those did end up coming in the first half. Now, this week they go on the road to face easily the best running back tandem in the league in Nick Chubb (who currently leads the league in rushing yards) and Kareem Hunt.

It won't be easy, but, even with injuries piling up, the Bengals still have the resources to stop the run. Jay Tufele especially has done a good job filling in for the absence of D.J. Reader in hindering opposing running backs. And they very well could catch a break if Trey Hendrickson and Logan Wilson are cleared to return, which Zac Taylor has been optimistic about.

Huge game by Joe Burrow couldn't have come at a more perfect time. dark. Next

If the run game can step up and stifle the Browns' rushing attack, the Bengals will leave this game with their first win over their northern counterparts.