Browns vs. Bengals: DPD staff predictions for the Week 14 matchup

The staff got together to offer up a prediction for today’s matchup between the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Cleveland Browns return to action to take on the Cincinnati Bengals in what should be a snowy day at FirstEnergy Stadium.

The staff here at Dawg Pound Daily got together to share our predictions for the game. And for the first time in a while, some brave souls think the Browns can pick up win number one in 2016 against the Bengals.

Jonathan Goehring (2016 record: 8-4): Bengals 28, Browns 17

Coming off of a bye week, the Browns will come in with more of a sense of urgency against their in-state rivals. In a first half much like the one against the Giants two weeks ago, Cleveland’s defense will hold their own until several costly mistakes loom large.

Going into the half with a 14-3 deficit, the Browns hang around for a while, and are given numerous chances to get back within one score. They don’t though, and eventually, the defense fails to bail out the offense.

Cincinnati will take over early in the fourth and take a 28-3 lead, putting the finishing touches on their second straight season sweep over the Browns. RG3 will lead the offense down the field and connect with Terrelle Pryor twice against a prevent defense, but the comeback attempt will come up short.

This one won’t feel a lot different than any Browns game, but will be a bit harder to swallow since the Browns will have a lot of missed chances.

Tom Moore (2016 record: 12-0): Bengals 31, Browns 10

Time is running short for the Cleveland Browns to pick up their first win of the 2016 NFL season. The situation has become so dire that the club has resorted to trotting out Robert Griffin III as the starting quarterback. When we last saw RG3, he was ineffectively leading the Browns offense and throwing himself chest first into the helmet of a Philadelphia defender, which explains why we haven’t seen him since Week 1.

Unfortunately for the Browns, today’s opponent is the Cincinnati Bengals, a team the Browns have not defeated in more than two years, and one that has outscored Cleveland by a combined 129-30 in their previous four meetings.

Both the Browns and the Bengals are playing for draft position at this point in the season, the weather is expected to be unpleasant at FirstEnergy Stadium, which should match the product on the field.

Roger Cohen (2016 record: 10-2): Bengals 19, Browns 6

Talk about high anxiety. I’m not sure what scares me more: that a frail, rusty, disinterested RG3 will throw three picks, fumble twice and get sacked double-digit times Sunday or that he somehow manages a meh 12-21, 160 yard, 1 TD performance earning him the start in Buffalo instead of Cody Kessler. Or Kevin Hogan.

With snow in the forecast, what I’m hoping for is a replay of Dec 1, 1974. My late dad and I were two of the 24,559 diehards to watch (and stayed till the end) in a record blizzard when the previous worst team in Browns history beat San Francisco 7-0. Check out the video, the Browns intercepted five passes while the 49ers only completed one. Ah, for the good old days.

I fear not even snow will help this even-worse Browns team. The defense slips and falls a couple of times giving the Bengals long-gainers, Parkey shanks a couple of chip-shot field goals, the Bengals return one of the Browns dozen punts for a TD and Cleveland falls to 0-13 by a 19-6 score.

Joel Cade (2016 record: 10-2): Bengals 31, Browns 17

The Browns will host cross-state rival Cincinnati Bengals in the Battle of Ohio. This battle is turning out to be much like the ones I grew up watching with my dad in the early 90’s. Unlike my father, I am rooting for the Browns. Even when the teams are subpar, this game was always a fun one to watch.

On offense, the new look offensive line must find a way to neutralize Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins. Dunlap is an inconsistent player. But when he is on, like against the Eagles, there will be little Austin Pasztor can do to stop him. Browns fans must pray that Dunlap is off his game on Sunday. Geno Atkins is always on.

The interior of the line will have their hands full trying to stop Atkins in the middle. Quarterback Robert Griffin III and the receiving groups must be able to execute a quick passing attack to be successful. Quick routes have not been the strength of Corey Coleman or Terrelle Pryor so far this year. It could be a long day for the Brownies.

Of special note is Vontaze Burfict. He will make it his mission to establish dominance on the field. If the Browns allow the Bengals to be the Alphas on the field or fail to fight back, it will be a long day.

The defense’s job should be easier with all the injuries to the Bengals’ offensive unit. However, Andy Dalton has begun to spread the ball around more to all his receivers giving the offense an added dimension. The running game is what has killed the Browns in meetings past. Jeremy Hill has hurt the Browns significantly running the ball. The Browns will need to game plan for the running attack.

Everything said, the Bengals still have playoff hopes alive. They will play like a team hanging on for their last breath of hope.

Steven Kubitza (2016 record: 8-4): Browns 13, Bengals 10

The Browns can’t possibly go 0-16, right?

The winter weather will be a major factor in today’s game against the Bengals, and should even out the contest a bit. The Bengals are already without A.J. Green, and the weather will only limit their playmaking ability all afternoon.

The problem is the run game will be a major factor, which is something the Browns have a tough time stopping on defense, and a tough time starting on offense.

But the extra week off to prepare for this game will benefit the Browns. Hue Jackson will draw up the best game plan of the season against his former team, and the defense will build off the solid performance against the Giants two weeks ago.

The Browns will hold the Bengals to 10 points and RG3 will do enough to not lose the game. The Browns win and everyone can stop panicking about an 0-16 record. 1-15 never sounded so good.

Matt Stevenson (2016 Record: 11-0): Browns 22, Bengals 16

Only four games remain as the Cleveland Browns continue to search for their first victory of the 2016 NFL season. This week, Hue Jackson gets another crack at his previous team in the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have turned out to be one of the more disappointing teams this season with a 4-7-1 record. Andy Dalton can rekindle his magic from the 2015 season, where he found success under Hue Jackson.

Cincinnati ranks No. 21 in total defense and the Browns rank No. 31, adding up for a sloppy game unless the offenses can find a groove early. The Bengals certainly have playmakers on the defensive side, but the Browns have a few of their own in Duke Johnson, Corey Coleman and Terrelle Pryor.

No A.J. Green for the Bengals once again as he rests up from a hamstring injury sustained a few weeks ago, so the Browns defense will shift their focus towards containing Tyler Eifert. If the Browns want to win a game this season, this may very well be their best opportunity. RGIII gets the nod and if he can play a safe game, limit turnovers and convert on third downs the Browns will shatter the plans of yet another Cleveland parade.

I believe Griffin will play decent, the running game will open up and the Browns defense will hold the Bengals to a relatively low score in a winning effort.

Eric Szczepinski (2016 record: 7-4): Bengals 19, Browns 17

In a cold snowy game off the shores of Lake Erie, the Browns fall just short in Robert Griffin’s return. Griffin throws for two touchdowns and shows signs of improvement in only his second start as a Brown.

However, the experienced Bengals led by Andy Dalton tough out a victory against their former offensive coordinator.

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