A Thursday night week-two National Football league matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns will take place at First Energy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, at 8:20 pm EST. Neither team fared well during their opening week contest as the Bengals fell by a 16-13 score at home to the Los Angeles Chargers as 2.5 underdogs while the Browns were blown out on the road versus division foe Baltimore Ravens as seven-point dogs. Currently, the line stands at six points in favor of Cleveland while the total is set at forty-five points for the game.
Cleveland has won three of the last four meetings versus these teams; Yet, the Bengals were able to pick up a victory in their most recent meeting in December of 2019 at home as 2.5-point underdogs. Also, Cleveland has won two-straight versus the Bengals at home while going just 1-4 ATS in their last five meetings at First Energy Stadium versus Cincinnati.
Browns destroyed by Jackson and Ravens in week-oneA one-yard pass from Baker Mayfield to David Njoku late in the first period of their opening week matchup versus the Ravens could have bought the team within just four points of tying the contest at 10-10; However, a missed point after by Austin Siebert seemed to throw the team on a downward spiral that attributed to their lackluster play throughout the remainder of the contest. In all, Cleveland would not score another point in the game while finishing with just over three-hundred yards in total offense.
Mayfield threw for one-hundred and eighty-nine yards, a score, along with an interception on 21-39 passing for the game; However, the quarterback took the attitude that this will indeed benefit the Browns as they move forward. “Sometimes a wakeup callis pretty good for everybody— a nice punch in the mouth, and that is how we should take it,” Mayfield said, via Cleveland.com. “We should not dwell on it, realize that we just got beat today, they played better than us, look at it, get better, move on and go play the Bengals. That is all we can do.”
Despite losing the ball twice, both Kareem Hunt along with Nick Chubb was pretty effective on the ground in racking up over one-hundred and thirty yards for the game on twenty-three carries, yet it was the underperforming of the receiving corps that was a huge culprit in the Browns falling hard in week-one. Odell Beckham was targeted ten times, but catching only three passes for only twenty-two yards while Njoku caught three passes for fifty yards and a score. Jarvis Landry led the corps with five catches for fifty yards, however. Mayfield on his inability to consistently find Beckham on the outside, “I gotta be better. Give him a chance. He’s a great player, I’ve got to give him a chance.”
Defensively, the Browns' Adrian Clayborn along with Tavierre Thomas each recorded a sack while B.J. Goodson along with Sione Takitaki each had five solo tackles in the game. However, the Ravens kept the Browns off balanced from the start as Lamar Jackson torched their unit for three passing touchdowns along with another forty-five yards rushing on seven carries. Important to note that Marquise Brown recorded one-hundred and one yards on a Browns defense that gave up a total of two-hundred and seventy for the game.
Chargers take out Bengals in slim winJoe Burrow was solid in throwing for just under two-hundred yards in their week-one matchup versus the Los Angeles Chargers. The rookie also rushed for forty-six yards while posting a rushing touchdown as well. However, the rookie did throw a pick to the Chargers while the offensive line gave up three sacks en route to their home loss last Sunday. Burrow, Joe Mixon, along with Giovanni Bernard combined for one-hundred and twenty-two yards on the ground while Burrow's favorite target was A.J. Green, who was targeted nine times but caught five passes for fifty-one yards. Nonetheless, the Bengals were unable to find any type of consistency on the offensive end after an early scramble by Burrow to give them an early 7-0 advantage.
"At the end of the day, I made too many mistakes for us to win the game and we didn't make enough plays," Burrow said. Two of the mistakes he made were overthrown balls to his John Ross along with a potential touchdown pass to Green. "I can't miss that one to A.J.," Burrow said. "A high-schooler can make that throw." However, the Bengals remain high on their highly-touted rookie signal caller. "That guy doesn't flinch," Green said. "The way he handled himself in that last drive was unbelievable. I haven't seen any rookie the way he handled it after adversity. We got a special one in Joe."
This weekend will certainly be a great time for Burrow to get back some confidence as he will face a Browns team that had no answers up front neither within their secondary versus the Ravens.
From a defensive standpoint, the Bengals were also not able to continue their consistency throughout the contest as they allowed ten points in the final period after starting the fourth up by a 13-6 score. Carl Lawson along with Josh Byrnes each had a sack while linebacker Jermaine Pratt led the team with nine tackles along with five assists; However, the team got pushed around by the Chargers in the fourth en route to the loss. Important to note that the Bengals also had seven penalties for the contest for forty-four yards.
Stats & Trends
- Bengals are 4-1 ATS in last 5 versus Browns
- Browns are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Browns are 1-4 ATS in last 5 games versus Bengals
- Browns are 3-4-1 ATS in last 8 games
The line for this game has been falling rapidly. After opening at 8.5-points, the line is now at six points in favor of the Browns. I happen to believe that this line will continue to fall in favor of the Bengals as Thursday approaches. The Bengals staggered a bit under Burrow versus the Chargers, however, the team competed throughout the contest. The Browns, on the other hand, seems to be figuring things out as they did last season. Expect the Bengals to bring the pressure in this contest to make Mayfield unsettled in the pocket, thus allowing his to speed up his internal clock and allow for the defense to get a turnover or two.
Burrow, aside from a couple overthrown balls, looked very promising in his first start and will continue his progression versus a Browns defense that was nonexistent versus the Ravens. Again, the Bengals have covered in four of their last five meetings versus the Browns. I really do not feel comfortable in taking Cleveland with the points in what will be a short week for both teams.