Bengals sweep AFC North with 16-7 win over Browns

I think I’m finally ready to write about this one. It wasn’t a happy day at my house, as the Browns mustered only one 55-yard drive and my favorite player went 15 of 34 for 100 yards on the day (he added a catch for 18 yards and a rushing touchdown). But overall, just not a fun day to be a Browns fan.

We also lost Shaun Rogers for the season and Kamerion Wimbley left the game with an injury. The Bengals ran the ball most of the day all over the place, with Larry Johnson getting most of those yards. It wasn’t a fun game to watch. It was a painful, boring loss.

Carson Palmer had a very pedestrian day, but time after time was able to convert on third downs through the air just past the chains and added a touchdown pass. This Browns defense is also not able to force turnovers in any shape or form.

As the Plain Dealer pointed out, the Browns are now 1-10 for the first time in team history. There’s nothing fun or positive about this group right now. Times are tough. The future is so uncertain. This is a hard blog to maintain right now, especially when I take just a Browns focus.

Quinn sneaks it in

Brady Quinn has the first rushing touchdown of his career, running it in from 9 yards out on 2nd and Goal to go to cut the deficit from 13-0 Bengals to 13-7 Bengals in Cincinnati. Quinn looked to fumble at the goal line but the ball was forced loose by the ground, and the call held up as a touchdown.

Key play on the drive was a flee flicker throw to Brady Quinn from Joshua Cribbs on 3rd down. The play went for 18 yards to Quinn, and so in essence; Quinn got his first career NFL catch and TD rush on the same drive.

Casserly details 18 Game Schedule on NFL Today

This is by far the best pregame show in sports, CBS’s NFL Today show. Just now Charlie Casserly detailed some upcoming possible changes to the NFL’s current format. Casserly noted that if the NFL goes to an 18 game regular season schedule, that the rosters will be expanded, there will be possibly 8 or more games overseas, and the playoff field could also be expanded. Casserly also said that there will be changes made to the injured reserve rules and that to keep fan interest up during a longer season, that the NFL would expand the playoff field to combat this.

I’m all for it.

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Benson, Coles to play for Cincinnati, Rivers out

The Bengals are +12.5 favorites to win today, and this will only help their cause.

The Cincinnati Bengals expect to have starting running back Cedric Benson and starting wide receiver Laveranues Coles on the field for today’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

I was hoping we’d slip by Cincinnati without having to see Cedric Benson, but he’s going to play. Maybe he’ll be banged up and ineffective. Maybe he’ll cough up a fumble. Hopefully he doesn’t have another big game against a team that will allow some yards on the ground if you stick with the run.

UPDATE: Benson has been ruled inactive. Phew.

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals Game Preview

I don’t like doing these game previews because in the past when I have the Browns have come out and gotten smoked, and I wasted a half hour of my life that I can never get back. In the spirit of all the great Sundays that have gone by in the past, we’ll drudge on and do one more.
The Browns are coming off their most heartbreaking loss in possibly decades. Eric Mangini was recently asked about his future in Cleveland and he said that he felt that he was part of it. While I certainly hope that is not true, a win today would go a long way towards securing him for next season.
Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll spoke on Brady Quinn’s future this week. Daboll spoke highly of Quinn while the head coach remained non-committal towards Quinn’s future. This is in the wake of one of the best offensive performances of the season. I don’t expect to see that today or anything close to it.
The Bengals, while ranked only in the middle of the road statistically, are very physical and hit you in the mouth all game long on both sides of the ball. Running Back Cedric Benson is banged up and they’re not sure of his availability as of the time of this post. They have added Larry Johnson but to be honest the more we see of Larry Johnson today the better Browns fans.
I don’t expect the Bengals to be able to run at will on the Browns but I do expect them to have a good passing attack going. The weather is 55 degrees, clear, and a 14 MPH wind approximately. Not the nice conditions of the dome. Quinn and Palmer probably trade a few turnovers through the air. The Browns will need to come out on top of that battle to remain in this game.
A few folks have said they just have a ‘gut feeling’ that the Browns will win today, a premonition if you will. I don’t know if I buy into it but something tells me that the Browns don’t get blown out and play another spirited effort. This is a team that is very tough to predict–at least in the fashion of how they will lose.
Prediction: Bengals 24, Browns 20

Brady Quinn may have the last laugh in Cleveland. We have felt this way for a while. Bud Shaw reacts. “My definition: He improbably positions himself as next year’s starter while the coach who benched him Vaudeville-style awaits the hiring of a football executive to decide his own fate.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer]