Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns - Official Game Thread

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CINCINNATI BENGALS (2-12) WEEK 16 CLEVELAND BROWNS (4-10)
VS.
Date: December 21, 2008 Location: Cleveland, OH
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Stadium: Cleveland Browns Stadium
TV: CBS
Favorite: Browns by 2½
Radio: WMMS, 100.7 FM Over/Under: 31
SBN Coverage: Cincy Jungle Announcers
Kevin Harlan & Rich Gannon

CBS sure has a blockbuster this week, as Ryan Fitzpatrick and the 2-12 Cincinnati Bengals take on Ken Dorsey and the 4-10 Cleveland Browns in the Battle of Ohio. That's a fitting name for this game, because when you look at the NFL Distribution Maps this week, Ohio is just about the only state that'll painfully get to watch this game. Truth be told, I'm sure most football fans in Ohio would rather have our game blacked out so that we could see the Pittsburgh Steelers battle the Tennessee Titans for the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

At least Marvin Lewis has looked and sounded more like he cares about winning. Romeo Crennel is just playing the season out with little to no enthusiasm until he is fired. Against the Bengals though, perhaps our offense will look a little bit better and scrape out a victory.

Let's start off this week's preview with the overall team statistics thus far...

OFFENSE

Category Bengals Browns
Points Scored 12.5 (32nd) 16.5 (28th)
Passing 159.0 (30th) 165.6 (29th)
Rushing 80.4 (29th) 97.0 (26th)
Total Offense (yards) 239.4 (32nd) 262.6 (30th)

DEFENSE

Category Bengals Browns
Points Scored 25.6 (27th) 21.7 (17th)
Passing 218.4 (18th) 216.1 (17th)
Rushing 124.9 (23rd) 147.4 (28th)
Total Defense (yards) 343.3 (22nd) 363.5 (27th)

CINCINNATI BENGALS Position CLEVELAND BROWNS
Fitzpatrick's first start this year was against Cleveland: 1 TD vs. 3 INTs. - QB - Unlike the past two weeks, Dorsey should have more time to stay in the pocket and deliver a throw.
Cedric Benson is averaging 3.1 yards a carry, and Chris Perry is averaging 2.6 yards a carry. Yikes!   RB - If Jamal Lewis wants to have a 100-yard game this season, this will be his last chance to do it.
Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Chris Henry outweigh our only threat in Edwards. - WR   With Winslow and Heiden sidelined, will Martin Rucker receive some snaps in the passing game?
The Bengals' pitiful rushing average and how often Fitzpatrick has been sacked (37) in 11 games is pitiful.   OL - They have seemed worn down against tougher competition, but should be able to maul the Bengals.
Antwan Odom, a player we were interested in during the offseason, has just two sacks this season.   DL - Shaun Smith is inactive, so Louis Leonard will start in his place.
The Bengals aren't strong at linebacker either, but they weren't a particular weakness against the Redskins last week.   LB - I've been more impressed with the efforts of Jackson, Wimbley, and even McGinest the past several weeks early in games.
If Edwards wants more "respect", he better be able to catch the ball with how often he'll get open this week.   DB - I'm sold on our secondary: get Daven Holly healthy next year, and I'm comfortable.
The Bengals' Kyle Larson is averaging just 39.8 yards a punt. In comparison, Zastudil averages 44.9 yards.   ST - Will Cribbs' Pro Bowl snub motivate him to have a big return game?

FINAL PREDICTION: Cleveland Browns 24, Cincinnati Bengals 13.
I think today will be another bland offensive approach, with Jamal Lewis getting the ball quite often. Unlike other games though, the Browns' offensive line will open up the holes for Lewis to run through, en route to his biggest day of the season. With high winds up to 50 MPH, do we really think Dorsey's passing game would be any better than it has been the past two weeks?

This is the official gameday topic for the Cleveland Browns in Week 15 as they take on the Cincinnati Bengals. All comments regarding the game should be posted in this topic. Enjoy the game, and GO BROWNS!!!

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