In our weekly installment, we examine what it’s going to take for the Browns to avoid losing to the only team in the division that has looked *worse* than they have: the Cincinnati Bengals.
So, is the season a complete and utter lost cause? Is there any fight left in this team to finally get into the win column this week? Let’s hope so. Without further ado, The Browns Will Win If…
Craig: …they give Jamal Lewis a lot more opportunities than he has been given the past three weeks. Cincy has a horrendous run defense and the Browns can cure a lot of what ails them if they run the ball and try to win the time of possession battle. I don’t have any proof, but I am guessing that this Browns defense will be able to stand up against Cincinnati this weekend, provided that the Browns offense wins the time of possession battle.
Scott: …they show up. As far as I’m concerned, the Browns have not been on the field since the second quarter against the Cowboys. Stallworth’s pending return should help Anderson more than some may think…assuming he uses him. They need to run the ball, smash mouth style. Once the safeties creep up, air it out. This is the week our longest pass completion exceeds 23 yards.
DP: …they manage to get out of their own way for a change. After the last two games, I’ve said something to the effect of “when it rains, it pours,” and it really, really did in the Ravens game. This game will be won or lost on the Browns’ offensive side of the ball, again. The Bengals’ defense has 1 team sack and 0 INTs through three games! The Browns need to go back to basics on offense: line up where you’re supposed to, don’t false start, don’t hold, open up holes to establish the run, and get back to the screen passes that have worked in the previous two games only to then seemingly vanish from the playbook. Whomever the QB is needs to be smart and accurate with the ball. I think that if the offense can score some real points, the rest will take care of itself.
RockKing: …they score more points than the Bengals do. I don’t even know how to break down the Browns anymore, because I don’t understand how an offense can disintegrate so greatly in just one year. We could make a laundry list of things that need to happen for the Browns to actually win a game: cut down on drive-killing penalties, offensive line blocks better, DA keeps his cool and stops forcing things, Braylon Edwards catches the ball, a 2nd WR steps up and establishes himself, Jamal Lewis gets more than 14 carries, Romeo Crennel remembers that he’s a coach and not a spectator on the sidelines, the secondary can cover the Bengals WRs, the defense can pressure the QB, the team can stop the Bengals from killing the clock in the 4th quarter by just pounding away at the defense, etc, etc, etc. But at the end of the day, I just don’t know anymore.
Mike: …the offensive line finds a way to collect themselves after their recent injuries and play well against an improved Bengals front seven. Also, running back Jamal Lewis must get at least 20 carries today in order to accomplish the near impossible task of taking the pressure off quarterback Derek Anderson’s shoulders. Based on Chud’s playcalling so far this year, I’m not so sure that’s going to happen.
Rick: …they can control the line of scrimmage, something that they SHOULD be able to do against the Bengals. As mentioned earlier, the Browns need to get the running game going. We will probably see the unbalanced line, like in the Pittsburgh game, but hopefully this time they actually run TOWARDS the additional blockers. Winslow and Heiden could come up big in this one, as the Bengals struggle to cover the TE.
What does everyone else think?