That one stung.
But, it’s on to Cleveland, as the Cincinnati Bengals look to rebound against an angry Browns team on Thursday Night Football. Primetime TV hasn’t always been kind to the Bengals, but they hope Joe Burrow’s moxie can change that narrative.
This is a big game not only for the trajectories of the 2020 seasons for Cincinnati and Cleveland, respectively, but also for the outlook for the careers of Burrow and Baker Mayfield.
Of course, it’s just been one start for Burrow and it was a mixed bag, but he showed the trademark mental fortitude against the Chargers that made him a No. 1 pick this year. However, with the Bengals having so many primetime demons, Burrow exorcising those on the road in “The Battle of Ohio” could prove to be a huge step in his career.
Some have quipped that Burrow got out many of what should have been the preseason kinks out last week in his first game action of the year. We’ll see if that’s the case, but at least some of the jitters should be gone.
However, this game may prove vital for Mayfield. Sure, he’s started just 30 games in parts of three different seasons, but he’s garnered a 12-18 record and is becoming more known for off-field stories and the massive disappointment of the 2019 season more than anything.
Now, coming off of a poor performance against the Ravens, Mayfield and the Browns can’t afford to go 0-2 with two divisional losses. And, as far as many are concerned, Mayfield has shown considerable amounts of regression since bringing excitement to the Browns as a rookie.
John Sheeran and Anthony Cosenza talked about the importance of this game for both quarterbacks and their respective teams, for differing reasons, on this week’s Orange and Black Insider.
“I watched just the first half of that Ravens game (versus Cleveland in Week 1), and I listened to Robert Mays and Nate Tice on The Athletic podcast and they said it better than I could: ‘When is Baker not going to see ghosts anymore’,” Sheeran said. “I wonder what those ghosts look like because he clearly still sees them. The Browns’ offensive line did pretty well against the Baltimore defensive line and he was still abandoning pockets, primarily to his right.”
Sheeran continued to note that this pattern shown in Week 1 this year was a troubling trend that began last year. He’ll have to show more signs of improvement this week—especially with 0-2 teams recently having about a 12 percent chance of making the postseason, based on past results.
Also this week, John and Anthony looked at the encouraging and discouraging signs and performances from Week 1 in their breakdown of the Bengals’ loss to the Chargers.
They also supplied a “Soundbite of the Week” from the NFL Network trio of Colleen Wolfe, Steve Smith, Sr. and Joe Thomas on Burrow’s Week 1 performance. The duo also breaks down and gives predictions for the first 2020 “Battle of Ohio”.
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