Cleveland has won more games under interim coach Gregg Williams in the weeks since Hue Jackson was fired than they did in his predecessor’s entire tenure as head coach.
The Browns put a damper on Denver’s playoff hopes with a tight 17-16 win in Denver while keeping their own postseason aspirations alive. The team trails a trio of 8-6 teams battling for the last wild card position.
Rookie passer Baker Mayfield is playing well enough and isn’t afraid to take the leadership role under acting offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens. One of his best games came against the same Bengals team he faces this week.
With their former head coach on the opposing sideline, the Browns took it to the Bengals in front of the Cincinnati fans. Mayfield had much to say, none of it good, about his former head coach after the game and since.
Cleveland can be eliminated this week even if they win, but the Browns don’t care. Especially if Hue Jackson comes into Cleveland to watch.
Injuries helped derail the Bengals’ season after an impressive and hopeful start. Backup quarterback Jeff Driskel is in control of the offense now and led the team to a solid 30-16 win against the Raiders in what was Cincinnati’s last home game of the season.
The Bengals played the Chargers tough the week before, which happened just after rumors of Marvin Lewis’ job status hit the airwaves in Ohio.
Injuries and notes
Cleveland corners Denzel Ward (concussion) and Phillip Gaines (knee) are questionable.
Wide receiver Tyler Boyd (knee) is doubtful for the Bengals. Vontaze Burfict is working his way through the concussion protocol. He is considered questionable.
Gregg Williams (and Freddie Kitchens) have done enough to put themselves in the running for the head coaching job next season. The team is noticeably looser and better disciplined since Williams took over.
However, the Browns job will be a popular choice for anyone on the market. That might include some enticing names like Ron Rivera, Mike McCarthy, and more.
Marvin Lewis is expected to step down after the season, just a year after he survived a total overhaul of his staff and several years since his last playoff appearance. If the loss to the Browns in Cincinnati didn’t seal his fate, getting swept by Cleveland this season certainly will.
How to watch the Browns-Bengals game
Fans in Ohio can watch this CBS-produced game for free thanks to Sling TV. Sling TV is a leading provider of internet-based television. They offer tons of sports, movies, and other entertainment for a low monthly subscription that you can cancel any time.
Thanks to their standard, no-obligation trial period, you can watch all of this weekend’s NFL action for free. Between games, you can check out the dozens of other channels available to see why so many NFL fans have done away with costly cable and satellite contracts to join the internet TV revolution.
Sling TV, like DirecTV Now, Fubo TV, and other internet companies, doesn’t require any expensive or unsightly equipment to receive their signal. Any good internet connection is all you need. You can hook it up to your big flat screen, or watch from your computer or favorite hand-held device.
All that for just a fraction of the cost of cable or satellite. Check out the Sling, Fubo, and DirecTV Now websites today to see what they can do for your entertainment budget.
Who will win the Browns-Bengals game?
Normally, if a team came into another team’s stadium, put a beating on them and talked nasty about one of their coaches, the offended team would be chomping at the bit to pay back the transgression. But not many Bengals players care about, or even like, Hue Jackson.
But they do like Marvin Lewis. Rumors of his departure resulted in two solid games by the Bengals defense. That’s all they need to keep the Browns close enough for the upset.