Week 7 brings us the Battle of Ohio Part 2.
This time, the Cincinnati Bengals will host the Cleveland Browns.
Recall that just a few weeks ago (on September 25), the Browns beat the Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The final score was 35-30.
Each team has had ups and downs in the past month.
Regardless, the game proves to be a good one.
Let’s look at the Browns’ 3 keys to victory.
1. The Browns need to be stingy on defense.
Last week, the Bengals stormed out to a big lead over the Indianapolis Colts before ultimately losing the game.
How did they do it?
The Bengals converted 3rd and 4th down big plays to sustain drives.
And if they didn’t get in the end zone on those drives, Randy Bullock still managed to kick long field goals to put points on the board.
He converted 47 yard and 55-yard field goals before ultimately missing a 40-yard field goal midway through the 4th quarter.
What does this mean for the Browns?
The defense has to avoid giving up big plays, limit Burrows and company to short possessions, and ultimately give the offense the ball.
If a turnover can enter the mix or a pick 6, that’s all the better.
Even in his rookie year with a limited supporting cast, Joe Burrow has shown he is a playmaker.
He is capable of changing the course of the game pretty much on his own.
2. The Browns offense needs to attack the Bengals defense.
When the Colts finally woke up after falling behind by 3 TDs, it was because they started exposing the weaknesses of the Cincinnati defense.
— Matthew Scott (@kentucykid) October 20, 2020
The game’s highlight reel shows Philip Rivers with lots of time to throw.
When he finally passed the ball, the receivers were wide open.
The Browns need to watch that game tape closely and take advantage of what appear to be deficiencies in the Bengals defense.
3. The Browns must forget about last week.
That means turn off the TV and social media.
Stop listening to the media blitz that accompanied the Steelers loss.
It was a bad game, offensively, defensively, and for the coaching staff.
Time to move on; don’t let the hangover of a bad loss cripple what has been a pretty good season.
Coach Stefanski said it best after the Steelers loss:
“I just look at this game. If you want to call it sobering, that is probably a pretty good word. We lost this game. We are going to react to this one and figure out how we can do better for the next one….With any loss, you can’t let it linger. You learn from it and you move on. We will watch the tape tomorrow, we will have everybody in and we will watch it, what can we learn from it and then move on. That is the simple answer, but I just think you can’t dwell on these things. The next one is coming.”
Both the Browns and the Bengals have played really good football for portions of games, but rarely put together a near flawless four-quarter performance.
The winning team on Sunday will be the one that finally puts all the pieces together to have that stellar four-quarter performance, instead of just a half or quarter here and there.