TV Schedule: Sunday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: Paul Brown Stadium
Weather: High 59, Low 46
Line: Cincinnati (-5.5)
After dropping two straight games, the Cincinnati Bengals look like a team on the way down. Andy Dalton has been struggling mightily as of late and it looks like the Bengals are in danger of giving up the huge lead they once had in the division. Dalton had been extremely careful with the ball in the first seven games of the season, but has since thrown many interceptions and looked careless in the pass game. He has passed for 2,861 yards and 18 touchdowns on the season while assisting in the evolving of A.J. Green from solid NFL wide receiver to elite NFL wide out. Green has caught 65 passes for a league-high 1,013 yards and six touchdowns on the season while Marvin Jones is the next closest receiver with 437 yards and seven scores. Giovani Bernard is emerging as a top young running back in the league, rushing for 419 yards and four scores.
On the other side of the field, the Cleveland Browns have been far better than people had anticipated following the trade of running back Trent Richardson and the lack of a consistent quarterback — going through three starters on the year. The Browns are 4-5 and in second place in the AFC North, right behind the Bengals. Jason Campbell has filled in at quarterback for the mediocre Brandon Weeden and an injured Brian Hoyer, passing for 561 yards and five touchdowns while completing over 61 percent of his passes. Josh Gordon has been the team’s top offensive weapon, catching 35 passes for 626 yards and three touchdowns while tight end Jordan Cameron isn’t too far behind, catching 50 passes for 600 yards and 12 touchdowns. Willis McGahee leads the sorry run game with 262 rushing yards and just one score — averaging 2.6 yards per carry.
Defensively, the Browns have been much better than expected. Cleveland ranks fifth in the league in total yards allowed as well as sixth in rushing yards allowed with just under 100. Don’t sleep on their secondary, either, as it ranks 10th in the league in passing yards allowed. The Bengals have also been a solid defensive unit, ranking in the top 10 in nearly every major category, including points allowed, total yards allowed, rushing yards allowed and passing yards allowed.
PREDICTION: Browns 14, Bengals 28