The Cleveland Browns lost their stronghold on the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon.
The Browns’ streak of wins over the Bengals is over, and the Bengals outplayed the Browns.
Bengals safety Jessie Bates III offered a theory about the Bengals defensive dominance after the Week 14 win over the Browns.
What Bates Said
Right to Jesse Bates pic.twitter.com/6EJfACG2kE
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 11, 2022
Bates believes the defensive play is energizing the rest of the team at just the right time.
“We’re just imposing our will on people. The thing is we’re confident. We’re playing really physical as a defense. All around…It gives our offense confidence. It gives them an opportunity to score points.”
Bengals Are Looking Like Their 2021 Selves
The Bengals got off to a slow start in 2022, but that is a distant memory.
FINAL: Fifth straight win for the @Bengals! #CLEvsCIN pic.twitter.com/zgkD5Kn9RD
— NFL (@NFL) December 11, 2022
They are now riding high on a five-game winning streak and are tied with the Baltimore Ravens at 9-4 on top of the AFC North.
Much like in 2021, they are peaking at the right time as the postseason is just around the corner.
Browns Have Unanswered Questions
Whereas all of the pieces appear to be coming together for the Bengals, the Browns are in the opposite situation.
Deshaun Watson‘s rustiness was less apparent against Cincinnati, but the offense is not in a groove with him yet, and it has affected everyone including Nick Chubb.
There are also lingering issues on defense, penalties, and sloppy play that did not happen when the Browns beat the Bengals on October 31.
The Browns are all but eliminated from the playoff hunt so it will be a long winter and spring ahead to figure out how the team needs to be retooled to be more competitive in 2023.
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