Cleveland brought in veterans at quarterback, running back, and wide receiver this offseason in a bid to break into the winning column with more regularity in 2018.
It didn’t seem like a very high bar after capturing one victory over the preceding two years, but it didn’t take long for the club to shelve the veterans plan and decide the future is now.
After their thrashing of the heavily favored Falcons in Week 10 behind the play of Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb, you have to wonder “what if” the Browns went with youth from the start.
Mayfield especially seems to have “it”. He hasn’t played particularly well, and arguably could be blamed for more than one of the Browns’ losses. But what he has is the locker room presence and on-field enthusiasm the Browns need after years of pathetic and sad play.
That we didn’t really see it until coach Hue Jackson was let go tells us all we need to know. Jackson bred a losing culture in Cleveland. With him out of the way, new and youthful enthusiasm can finally take over.
Of course, the Bengals still see the Browns as a flawed rival they can take advantage of. There is talent on the Browns defense, but they still give up plays. Dalton at home and the Browns on the road shift the dynamics in the Bengals favor.
But, is it enough?
Injuries and notes
AJ Green is running in practice and there is hope he will make it back in time to play Sunday. He is listed as questionable, along with fellow receiver Josh Malone (hamstring).
Linebacker Preston Brown was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. Nick Vigil and defensive lineman Adolphus Washington are also questionable for Cincinnati.
Cleveland center JC Tretter was held out of practice with an ankle injury Wednesday. Tight end David Njoku (knee) was limited. Both are listed as questionable this week.
Cleveland’s interim coaching staff was feeling pretty good about themselves after the win against Atlanta. With a bye week to settle down their roles and make plans, it will be interesting to see what else they will do utilize their young talent.
Marvin Lewis survived multiple shakeups in Cincinnati. This is not the Cleveland team of the past two seasons, but losing to the rival Browns at homeis the type of thing that can alter an owner’s support.
How to watch the Bengals-Browns game
CBS Sports will show this game to the markets around Ohio in the early time slot. Besides cable and satellite providers, internet television companies like Fubo TV will show the game live to their subscribers.
Fubo TV offers dozens of sports and entertainment channels, with live stream NFL games and so much more. All your favorite movie and TV channels are included in their low monthly subscription price.
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Check out their websites today and see why you should be an internet TV subscriber.
Read More: NFL Week 14 Game Preview: Panthers at Browns
Who will win the Bengals-Browns game?
Cincinnati hired Hue Jackson almost immediately after the Browns fired him, giving him a title as “special consultant”. With two games against the Browns on tap, we wonder why else the Bengals hired the losingest coach in history.
With a bye week to prepare for the Bengals, Browns coaches can introduce plenty of wrinkles to offset any Browns-specific consulting going on across the field. With an energized team knowing their former coach flipped to the other side, we expect the revenge factor to play a big role in Sunday’s contest.