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Browns vs Bengals: Pregame thoughts and musings

We finally made it to Week 1, time to rock Browns fans

Sunday morning has finally arrived. Week 1 of the NFL season, for all but the Thursday and Monday games, kicks off today and man does it feel good.

And nerve-wracking. Fear inducing. And...

Listen, as Cleveland Browns fans we have all been through this before. We can see it on social media, we can see it in our comment section and we can hear it in our conversations. Browns fans have had their hopes up before to only have them dashed.

The Cincinnati Bengals are not normally ones to be a thorn in Cleveland’s side but are the class of the AFC North right now as we head into today’s clash of Ohio.

Mueller’s Musings is just my way of titling my random thought articles for this season. It is a little more fun when there is some artwork and a name to an article. In reality (only sort of sorry for the two wrestling videos), it's really my version of Adam Cole’s “storytime” line and a little bit of Cody Rhodes’ similar intro line:

I know what I want to talk about.

I want to talk about the Browns beat the Bengals. I don’t actually care how it happens. I’d love for the defensive line led by Myles Garrett, Za’Darius Smith and Dalvin Tomlinson to control the game. I’d love for Denzel Ward, Martin Emerson and Greg Newsome II to shut up the Cincinnati receivers.

I’d love for the offense to go wild in both the rushing and passing games so much that the national media is forced to wonder if it has a weakness.

In the end, in a few hours I want to be talking about a win but I still have questions that, as a lifelong Cleveland fan, are still bouncing around in my head. Unfortunately, due to years of disappointment, all my questions are on the negative side. Don’t worry, my expectations are still everything listed above but I have questions:

  • Does Jim Schwartz’s defense actually cover tight ends, crossing routes and running backs out of the backfield? Can’t remember the last Browns defense that did
  • Can Ward stay healthy?
  • Are there too many options in the passing game where players are rotated in and out where they can’t find a rhythm?
  • Will I ever spell rhythm right without spell check fixing it for me? (Failed twice so far)
  • Will the improved defensive line help the linebackers or will that middle group be a weakness and picked apart?
  • Is Wyatt Teller back to his old performance? Was Ethan Pocic’s play last year a fluke? Can you count on Jedrick Wills taking any kind of step? Will Jack Conklin stay healthy?
  • Can Cleveland really have the best offensive line if I have those questions about four of the five?
  • Heck, will Joel Bitonio ever show his age?
  • Will Juan Thornhill play? We’ve all gotten really excited about free-agent additions only to see them flop with the Browns so the caution is real
  • Is Orlando Brown as overhyped as I think he is?
  • Does Joe Mixon have much left after a tumultuous offseason that included being forced to take a pay cut?
  • How does Tee Higgins respond to being the odd man out when it comes to big contracts in Cincy?

I don’t only have questions, I have a few thoughts:

  • Expect a lower-scoring game
  • Kevin Stefanski will call something interesting that fans will either love or hate depending on if it works (Captain Obvious statement)
  • Joe Burrow looks a little rusty and has very little mobility
  • Someone of importance leaves the game in the first half with an injury for one of the teams. Lack of preseason work plus an intense game equals big injury concerns
  • Browns fans come very very loud
  • A lot of short and/or passes from both teams
  • I will be sharing thoughts and going back and forth with readers in our comment section during the game (in each quarter’s game thread) and will not be on Twitter (besides posting articles)
  • We will all make huge takeaways from this game that are unlikely to mean anything when the season ends
  • The game will be fun
  • Cleveland comes out on top

What questions, what thoughts do you have this Sunday morning? Share them below in our comment section or yell at me for having some negativity to start your day: