The Cleveland Browns enter their Week 9 bye with renewed hope and optimism after dismantling the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football. The team didn’t make a big move at the NFL trade deadline but held onto Kareem Hunt and look forward to Deshaun Watson’s return in a few weeks.
While the Browns look to get healthy this week, David Njoku, Denzel Ward, Wyatt Teller and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah are just four of the injured players hoping to return after the bye, the NFL season rolls on.
Week 9 has a few games for Cleveland fans to pay attention to. While it may be too early for games to have a lasting impact on playoff hopes, it does give Browns fans something to focus on. Much like fantasy football makes more games interesting to those playing, Cleveland’s win against Cincinnati keeps these games interesting this week:
Chargers vs Falcons
Two teams that the Browns have lost to square off at 1 PM in Atlanta. Los Angeles currently sits in the seventh seed in the AFC at 4-3 while the Falcons are 4-4 and at the top of the struggling NFC South.
Cleveland will be rooting for the home team in this one.
Dolphins vs Bears
Miami is next on the schedule for Cleveland but have to travel to Chicago first. At 5-3, the Dolphins are in the sixth spot in the AFC and (outside of divisional rivals) likely the last wild card contender on the Browns schedule (this assumes Buffalo continues to run away with the AFC East).
Cleveland fans will be hoping for another home team victory and a very physical game between the two in advance of their Week 10 showdown.
Panthers vs Bengals
After getting shellacked by the Browns, Cincinnati has a “get right” game against Carolina at home. While hoping for the PJ Walker-led Panthers (with Baker Mayfield now the backup quarterback) to take one from Cleveland’s division rival is unlikely, it isn’t impossible.
Colts vs Patriots
New England destroyed the Browns a few weeks ago but is still just 4-4 this season. Indianapolis was expected to be much better this year but has benched Matt Ryan and are just 3-4-1. Given their head-to-head victory over Cleveland, Browns fans are rooting for the Colts to spring an upset on the road this week.
Ravens vs Saints
Can the crowd get rocking for Monday Night Football in New Orleans to help lead the Saints to victory? More importantly, will Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry and others be healthy enough to play? At 5-3, Baltimore has a chance to create some distance in the AFC North but a road game in New Orleans is rarely easy.
Which game are you going to make sure to watch this week with the Browns on a bye?