The last two weeks have provided a cold dose of reality for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Following a degrading tie and a promising win, Zac Taylor’s team lost in two very different ways in back-to-back weeks. Losing streaks have been the theme of Taylor’s tenure in Cincinnati as he’s lost 18 of his 22 games since taking the job.
At least he’ll face a team he’s actually defeated before this Sunday.
The Bengals are getting set to host the Cleveland Browns in 2020’s second Battle of Ohio. Just over a month ago, the Browns achieved as convincing of a five-point victory as you’ll see in the NFL over the Bengals. The Bengals are hoping to learn from that loss as much as the Browns are hoping to reuse their same successful strategy.
Despite a point differential of -24, the Browns are 4-2 on the year. Their fantastic offensive line has continued to pave the way for a consistent running game even with Nick Chubb out with a knee injury, and their pass rush is spearheaded by a legit defensive player of the year candidate in Myles Garrett.
Both Garrett and their run game crushed the Bengals’ chances of winning in Cleveland back in September, but the reason why the away team is only favored by about a field goal is because of their quarterback. Baker Mayfield has gone through a rough patch ever since he lit up the Bengals’ defense with play action bootlegs galore. Lou Anarumo’s defense proved to be the perfect get-right group for Colts’ quarterback Philip Rivers to face last week; is Mayfield next in line to jumpstart his season?
The quarterback for the home team will be more familiar with the Browns’ defense than any other he’s faced thus far. Joe Burrow threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns back in Week 2, but taking nearly dropbacks isn’t something they should be comfortable replicating since this offensive line will still be outmatched.
Can Burrow get his second-career win and his first win against an AFC North foe, or will Mayfield improve his record to 5-1 against the Bengals? Follow this stream for all the latest news, updates, and analysis regarding the Bengals’ Week 7 matchup against the Browns.