The (2-5) Cleveland Browns matchup with the (4-3) Cincinnati Bengals in week 8 of the NFL season.
The Browns enter this matchup coming off a disappointing loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Who will prevail?
Let’s take a look at our writer’s bold predictions for this Sunday’s matchup.
Writer: Wendi Oliveros
The 2-5 Cleveland Browns absolutely need to win on Monday Night Football against their interstate rivals, the AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals.
The good news is that the Browns have owned the Bengals in recent years so if you believe in historical precedent, that is a positive sign.
The bad news is that the Bengals are tired of hearing about losing to the Browns.
Both teams could be without star players such as Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase and Browns CB Denzel Ward.
So we will not be treated to plays like these from those two superstars.
DENZEL WARD. 100-YARD PICK-6. #Browns
— NFL (on London time ☕️🇬🇧) (@NFL) November 7, 2021
The truth is that the Browns do not need huge plays like this (though they would be nice) to win the game.
They just need to run the ball, play smart defense, and not make costly mistakes.
The eternal optimist in me believes the Browns are up to the task.
This four-game losing streak is getting old for everyone on the coaching staff and in that locker room.
That means the Browns will turn things around in Week 8 with a decisive win over the Bengals by the score of 31-20.
The whole world will see the AFC Champions go down on Monday Night Football; I can hardly wait!
My Prediction: Browns 31, Bengals 20
Writer: Pat Opperman
So, on one hand, we have the defending AFC Champions rolling into town off a pair of convincing victories in which they scored 65 points.
They’ll take on a team last heard screaming at each other after a 4th straight loss followed by trade rumors and hard questions.
And in the 2022 NFL season, that can only mean one thing.
The Cleveland Browns still own the Cincinnati Bengals and will destroy them on Monday Night Football.
Cleveland’s home crowd will have plenty to cheer about on Halloween night.
Myles Garrett will pile on stats at Joe Burrows’ expense.
Jadeveon Clowney will get in on the action, along with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and the rest.
Part of the reason is the continuation of Cleveland’s recent knack for making short work of the Bengals.
But make no mistake about it; more than a couple of veterans are playing for their starting jobs this week.
And a few coaches should feel the heat heading into the bye week and an opportunity to better implement changes.
The Browns will win and look like a playoff contender because the alternative is the final nail in a dud of a season.
Browns Pride shows up this week.
My Prediction: Browns 33, Bengals 22
Writer: Ben Donahue
The Cleveland Browns head into their Week 8 matchup against in-state and division rival, Cincinnati.
The Browns are hoping to reverse their four-game losing streak and stay one step ahead of Pittsburgh for the AFC North basement.
Cleveland takes on a Cincy team that is on a two-game winning streak and has taken four out of their previous five games.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has looked mortal a few times this year, but last week he tossed a season-high 481 yards against an Atlanta team that defeated Cleveland.
Through the past month, Burrow has had an average quarterback rating of 110 in four different games and thrown just one pick during that time. Not too shabby.
Ja’Marr Chase has been ruled out for Monday’s game, but Burrow still has Tyler Boyd (29 receptions, three scores this year) and Tee Higgins (31 catches for 2 scores on the year) at his disposal.
The Browns’ pass defense will have their work cut out for them, currently sitting at a 60.2% completion rating against opposing pass catchers.
Denzel Ward won’t be available to help on Monday due to injury, and neither will a host of other Browns.
Regardless, it’s imperative that the Browns’ defensive line gets constant pressure on Burrow.
Cincinnati’s run game is pedestrian (running back Joe Mixon averages just 58 yards per game) but the Browns’ run defense hasn’t been great.
Hoping the Cleveland D can buck that trend this week, they can then focus on the Bengals’ pass game.
On offense, the Browns’ run game can chew up the Bengals’ suspect run defense.
Cincy’s pass defense is much better and has given up a measly 6.2 yards per average in receptions.
If Kevin Stefanski opens up the Browns’ ground game, the score will be close.
However, Cleveland’s defense is too suspect to count on.
My Prediction: Bengals 31, Browns 23