TV Schedule: Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: FirstEnergy Stadium
Weather: Low 77, High 61
Line: Cincinnati (-4.5)
The Cleveland Browns are coming off an unthinkable win in week three against the Minnesota Vikings in which they took to the road to steal a win. Why was thing win unthinkable? Well, seeing as they traded their best player and Brandon Weeden was out with a sore thumb, leaving them to rely on a backup running back and a quarterback who had started just one career game. Brian Hoyer led the Browns to the improbable win over the Vikings, 31-27, en route to their first victory of the 2013 season. Without Trent Richardson and Weeden, the Browns relied solely on Hoyer, who was once the third-string quarterback to begin the season. He passed for over 330 yards and three touchdowns for his first victory in the league.
Heading into week four, the Cincinnati Bengals are 2-1 and widely considered as a favorite to win the AFC. However, they have shown many weaknesses on offense and defense through the first few weeks and Andy Dalton has yet to play to his full potential. Dalton is completing nearly 70 percent of his passes for 797 yards and five touchdowns. Wide out A.J. Green hasn’t disappointed yet this season, catching 19 passes for 249 yards and three scores — proving once again that he’s one of the best young pass-catchers in football. Giovani Bernard looks to be the future of the run game, running the ball 22 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns. This offense can be electric when it reaches full potential.
Defensively, both the Bengals and the Browns have top-15 units in the NFL. The Browns have a slightly better defense as they rank in the top-10 in the league in yards allowed per game as well as rushing yards allowed. This could be bad news for Bernard if he wants to get more reps. The Bengals rank in the top-15 in yards allowed and points allowed per game. This could be a surprisingly low-scoring game — much to everyone’s surprise as you would think the Bengals would put up big numbers.
PREDICTION: Bengals 27, Browns 17