In recent years, beating the Bengals has been the Cleveland Browns’ answer to getting out of a slump.
The best example came in 2020 during the game Odell Beckham Jr. went down with an injury and Baker Mayfield went on to complete nearly all of his passes.
THE ROOKIE DONOVAN PEOPLES-JONES GAME WINNER🔥
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 25, 2020
The Browns would win that game and go on to win their first playoff game in nearly two decades.
Coming into tonight’s Monday Night Football matchup with a 2-5 record, the Browns could use a similar win.
But is this the same Bengals team the Browns can push around?
While they have had a slow start to the season, the Bengals are coming off a Super Bowl appearance and are starting to pick up steam.
They may be without WR Ja’marr Chase.
— Faux Joey Brrr (@FauxJeaux) October 27, 2022
But their passing attack remains elite and they have a solid run game in Joe Mixon.
While they haven’t played well against the Browns in recent memory, the Bengals will make for some interesting matchups in tonight’s game.
1. CB Greg Newsome and WR Tee Higgins
With Denzel Ward and Chase out for tonight’s game, Greg Newsome and Tee Higgins are now at the top of their respective depth charts.
#Browns CB Greg Newsome said he “was pissed” when he heard about Ja’Marr Chase’s injury. Said he was looking forward to the matchup
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) October 28, 2022
So far this season, Newsome allowed only 13 catches and 110 yards to opposing receivers.
Higgins has caught 31 passes for 455 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Both have been playing incredibly well.
But that won’t last tonight.
Something has to give.
Look for Newsome to either shut down Higgins completely.
Or finally give up his first big play of the season.
2. WR Donovan Peoples-Jones and CB Cam Taylor Britt
CB Eli Apple is taking a step back tonight and rookie Cam Taylor Britt will be making his first carer start.
Eli Apple is on the sidelines to start. Appears the Bengals are making a switch at CB.
Cam Taylor-Britt in for Apple
— Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) October 23, 2022
With CB Chidobe Awuzi likely assigned to cover Amari Cooper, Britt should be in line to cover Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Peoples-Jones, who has made the most of opportunities this year, may have his biggest opportunity facing a rookie tonight.
Britt is no pushover and has become a Bengals fan-favorite as he’s risen up the depth chart this year.
But he’s still a rookie and Peoples-Jones is on pace to catch nearly 1000 yards this season.
Look for the Browns to turn to Peoples-Jones more tonight.
Not only because he’s lined up with a rookie, but also because David Njoku is ruled out of the passing attack with an injury tonight.
3. DE Myles Garrett and LT Jonah Willams
As much success as the Bengals have found over the past two seasons, there is still one thing they can’t figure out.
How to keep Joe Burrow off the ground.
So far this season, Joe Burrow is tied for the third most-sacked QB with a total of 24 sacks.
And with Myles Garrett lining up on the opposite side of Burrow tonight, he’s likely due for more.
One #Browns player thats always given Bengals QB Joe Burrow Problems: Myles Garrett
In their 3 matchups
Look for JuraSACK Myles to harass the leagues most sacked QB Monday night
— Mac🦬 (@tha_buffalo) October 27, 2022
The Bengals’ best hope to cease the sacks come in Jonah Williams.
Williams has had a strong season so far, flashing some big moments.
Nice stunt pickup from Jonah Williams pic.twitter.com/7dfWzpbyhc
— Mike (@bengals_sans) October 24, 2022
If the Bengals want to keep Burrow on his feet, they better hope Williams has one of his better games.
Otherwise, Garrett will be teeming off the edge to add to his Browns franchise-leading sack record.