- Start Time: 1 pm ET
- Location: FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.
- TV Channel: The game will air on FOX-TV. In the Bengals’ home region, it will be carried by WXIX-TV (Ch. 19) in Cincinnati, WGRT-TV (Ch. 45) in Dayton, WDKY-TV (Ch. 56) in Lexington, and WTTE-TV (Ch. 28) in Columbus.
- Broadcasters: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma and Lindsay Czarniak will have the call for FOX.
- Radio Broadcast: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7).
- Broadcasters: Dan Hoard and Dave Lapham.
- Online Stream: FOX Sports Live or a free trial of fuboTV
- Replay: NFL Game Pass
- Weather: High 30s and overcast, according to NFL weather.
- Odds: The Bengals are 6-point underdogs with the total set at 38, per DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Prediction: TeamRankings projects a 23-16 win for the Browns. Go here for more predictions and betting analysis.
Bengals inactives:— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) January 9, 2022
QB Joe Burrow
DB Jalen Davis
DL Cam Sample
DL D.J. Reader
K Evan McPherson
WR Tee Higgins
LB Logan Wilson
Plus, reserve/COVID-19 list: S Vonn Bell, DL Trey Hendrickson, DL B.J. Hill, OL Trey Hopkins, RB Joe Mixon, DL Larry Ogunjobi, OL Quinton Spain
The Bengals have the AFC North locked up after taking down the Kansas City Chiefs last week. The Browns were also eliminated after that win and their subsequent loss to Pittsburgh. Because of that, we won’t see Joe Burrow (rest) or Baker Mayfield (shoulder surgery).
What we should be able to see as Bengals fans is some young guys we haven’t seen much of this season. One of the bigger offensive names to keep an eye out for is rookie running back Chris Evans. He looks like he could easily become a bigger part of this offense in years to come with his ability to pass block and make plays as a pass-catcher.
We will see more of the young offensive linemen this team has been attempting to cultivate as well. Jackson Carman will start at left guard, and D’Ante Smith may get some more plays.
There is still some seeding movement that can be done this week. Currently, the Bengals are the No. 3 seed. If the Bengals were to win they secure the third seed, which could come into play in the Divisional round of the playoffs pending results of the Wild Card round.
If they lose, the worst off Cincinnati can be is the fourth seed because they won the division. They also have a very obscure route to the No. 2 seed, but because that seed doesn’t guarantee a bye week anymore, so it isn’t worth fighting for as much.
Essentially, the Bengals are still playing for something. It is just more their chances of hosting an additional playoff game if they were to win during the Wild Card round. The bigger deal was them earning what is amounting to a bye week in Week 18 to get a little more healthy for the playoffs.
For a team that has been seemingly fighting for their lives since the bye week, this has to be a pretty sweet moment for those veterans. It has to be almost equally exciting for some of the bench players to get out there and actually play while getting some additional film of themselves for coaches to evaluate this offseason.