CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 11: Wide receiver A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals scores a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
The Browns have the No. 1 pass defense in the league and the last time these two teams met (in Week 1) the Browns, specifically Joe Haden, held Green to just one catch. Of course that one catch went for 41 yards and a touchdown but it was also on a trick play in which the defense wasn't set.
Joe Haden will go up against Green again in Week 12. So far Haden has had the upper hand, both in the NFL and in college (Haden played in for Florida and Green for Georgia) but Green has more experience and he's on the same page with Dalton. If the Bengals want to win on Sunday, Green is going to have to get open.
A.J. Green is obviously Andy Dalton's favorite target in the passing game and through the past 11 weeks, the rookie quarterback and wide receiver have gotten on the same page and propelled each other into the conversation for offensive rookie of the year.
Green is coming back from a knee injury suffered in Week 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and should be back to 100 percent. He sat out of the team's Week 11 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and will look to help the team bounce back against the Browns.
Dalton will be relying on him to get open, especially since his other two top receivers, Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell, have been inconsistent this season. If Green can consistently get open against Haden, and he certainly has the talent to do so, Dalton will find him and the pair can lead the bengals down the field and put up a couple scores.
These are the reasons that Green getting open against Haden is one of the five keys to a Bengals victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.