Cleveland Browns Game Preview: Week 12 at Cincinnati Bengals

Hue Jackson & Marvin Lewis
Source: John Grieshop/Getty Images North America via

Round One in the ‘Battle of Ohio’ or the Hue Jackson bowl takes place at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.

The Cleveland Browns take on the Cincinnati Bengals and their former head coach who is now serving as a special assistant on Marvin Lewis‘ staff in Cincinnati.

“It is good to have him here,” Lewis said.

“I did not really have a thought about it,” Jarvis Landry said. “He is just doing what he has to do, I guess.”

“I am happy for him. He is a coach,” Gregg Williams said. “He has been a coach for life. Same thing with me. I have turned down other things to do in life because I have loved coaching. That is what you are supposed to do.”

As for the game it, the Browns are looking to win in Cincinnati for the first time since 2014. In fact, the Browns are trying to win a road game for the first time since October 11, 2015 in Baltimore. The 25 consecutive road losses since are just one shy of the NFL record.

“It is no different from playing at home, other than you have people cheering for you and you go somewhere else and you have people cheering against you. I like beating people away,” Myles Garrett said. “That has always been a thing for me. When I go there, I will definitely be amped to make some big plays for the defense.”

“Just build off of this win we just had with the Falcons,” Emmanuel Ogbah said. “The players, we know what it feels like to win games finally. We know what it feels like. We want to have that feeling every week so we can go out there and give it everything we have.”

“It is like any other game. We just have to play better,” Kevin Zeitler said. “We have to communicate and get things done. Make the play when it presents itself.”

Cleveland is also looking for back to back wins for the first time since November, 2014.

The Bengals have lost two straight games. Both teams need a win Sunday to keep slim playoff hopes alive.

The Browns defense could get a huge break. Bengals pro bowl wide receiver A.J. Green could miss the game due to a toe injury. In fact defensive back Damarious Randall feels the Browns will win if Green is out.

“If they don’t have A.J., they’re getting their ass beat,” Randall said.”The offense doesn’t score a lot of points when A.J. isn’t on the field. So obviously losing a guy like that sucks for definitely the whole entire offense because he’s one of those generational type of players.”

Green is questionable for Sunday’s game. Both teams understand how important Green means to Cincinnati’s offense.

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“He is one of the most dynamic receivers in the league,” Jabrill Peppers said. “Obviously, when he is off of the field, it definitely hurts them, but they have had a lot of guys who have stepped up in his absence. We have to be on our p’s and q’s.”

“Obviously, He is a fine, fine player, and he does things that create opportunities for himself and others,” Lewis said.

Tyler Boyd becomes the top receiving option for Andy Dalton if Green can’t go. The third year wide receiver is quickly becoming the talented wide receiver Cincinnati hoped for when they drafted him.

“He has played very well. Take a look at the targets,” Williams said. Look at all of the targets that he has had this year. We will prepare for all of the scenarios. It will not change how we will go about preparing. We have gone through all of those what ifs each and every day on the practice field this week.”

The Browns defense also has to slow down running back Joe Mixon. The second year running back will see plenty of touches especially if the passing game struggles.

“Our main goal every Sunday is to stop the run,” Peppers said. “But when you have a work horse like that back there who gets their offense going, you definitely want to make it a big issue to stop.”

“Joe is a very good back,” Joe Schobert said. “I think on tape you kind of see he is a thicker back, but he has quickness, good vision and good balance when he gets in the whole so you really have to bring your feet when you go into hit him because he will just shrug off arm tackles. We have a lot of respect for the guy. He is a good weapon for their offense.”

The Browns offense looks for another performance like they had against the Atlanta Falcons before the bye week. Cincinnati’s defense provides an opportunity for that to happen. Jackson is back in Cincinnati because they fired their former defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. The Bengals defense is near the bottom in the NFL.

“I feel like we have had a couple of those questions throughout the year, like when we played the Chiefs defense or the Bucs defense,” Baker Mayfield said. “What it comes down to is us doing our job. It does not matter who we are playing we have to execute, and that is the mentality I have always had. I am not going to look at it statistically like that. We are going to scheme against what they are doing, but we have to do our job when it comes down to it.”

CBS Sports will broadcast the game. Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon and Steve Tasker are the announcers. The Browns are currently a three point underdog.

Scott Piker is the Cleveland BrownsCleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Indians Managing Editor for Full Press So follow him on twitter @ScottPikerSport

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