Browns vs. Bengals Preview

The Battle of Ohio will be renewed tomorrow as the Cincinnati Bengals will roll into Cleveland to take on the Browns. Both teams have had their ups and downs this season but the pressure will be on the Browns to earn their first victory.

After Jake Delhomme went down with an injury during week one against Tampa Bay, the Browns have had to utilize backup quarterback Seneca Wallace. Wallace has made his mistakes here and there but has managed to keep the Browns offense competitive for a good portion of the games. Wallace tends to find receivers, has been a leader on the offense and will need to be consistent against the Bengals defense. Wallace managed to help the Browns offense put points up on the board against the Balitmore Ravens last week (something the Browns didn’t do that well last season) and will need to play with that same intensity this week.

When it comes to the play calling, the Browns will need to do less gambling and more conservative play calls. Against Baltimore, the Browns had many situations in which the play calls didn’t fool the defense and failed to convert on third down. The Browns will need to convert on third downs in this game and could benefit from utilizing Josh Cribbs in the wildcat. The wildcat has not been used that often and going into a game in which you are playing a divisional rival and are winless, the Browns will need to play calling that works and not take too many gambles.

Taking a look at the Bengals offense, quarterback Carson Palmer has been criticized for not being as effective since his 2005 injury but he will be taking aim at the Browns secondary. After a poor week against the Ravens, the Bengals will probably be sending receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco towards the direction of Browns safety Eric Wright. Wright could not defend anyone on the Ravens last week and Palmer is not afraid to pick at any weak point in the secondary. Palmer still has a cannon and if Wright and the Browns secondary is not covering, the Bengals will keep attacking that the entire game.

With zero wins after three games, the pressure is mounting on Browns head coach Eric Mangini. During the offseason, Browns President Mike Holmgren and General Manager Tom Heckert did an overhaul of the roster to provide Mangini with the tools to be a competitive team in the NFL. Even with these changes, Mangini has failed to produce wins for the Browns and he and his assistants are being questioned as well. Holmgren and Heckert did not com here to lose and if the losses keep piling up, they will be providing Mangini a pink slip and an escort out the door. Both these men are well connected in the NFL and will be able to find a coach who can win if Mangini cannot cut it.

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~ by jeffrsabo on October 2, 2010.

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