Week 2 of the NFL season is upon us and it’s time to ask the annually contested question: Which Ohio team will somehow manage to be worse than the other?
The Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals both started off their 2020 seasons with Ls. The Browns fell disastrously to the Baltimore Ravens last week, 38-6, while the Bengals showed flashes of promise in their 16-13 loss versus the Chargers.
Cleveland had almost nothing to celebrate last week what with their only score of the game coming on a touchdown pass to tight end David Njoku in the first quarter. However, the run game, led by Nick Chubb (60 yards) and Kareem Hunt (72 yards) is something to look out for what with the Bengals’ run defense being the absolute worst in the NFL last season with almost 150 yards allowed per game. The Browns’ defense had zero answers for the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson last week, but this week presents a much kinder matchup with rookie QB Joe Burrow starting for Cincinnati.
Burrow had a decent debut last week versus the Chargers, finishing 23 of 36 for 193 yards, one rushing TD and one interception. The primary reason the Bengals lost was because of a missed field goal in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. Burrow's last drive was his best work (8 of 11 for 70 yards), and he’ll need to keep that up versus the Browns.
Look for Cleveland to put pressure on the rookie QB and force him to make mistakes in the pocket, while the Bengals will try to run a fast-paced offense that allows Burrow to get the ball into the hands of AJ Green and co. as quickly as possible.
If Joe Burrow somehow manages to out-duel Baker Mayfield, who threw an interception on the Browns’ very first drive last week, it could spell the beginning of the end for the Mayfield era in Cleveland.
The Browns are favored by six to win this game so it might pay off to place a bet on the Bengals, who could surprise oddsmakers in Las Vegas easily if the Browns repeat their performance from last week.
Visit play.spreads.ca now to place your action on tonight’s game.
-- written by Kyle King