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TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 2: Cleveland Browns At Cincinnati Bengals

Browns
Bengals
Quarterback
This figures to be a long year for rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, and his first game against the Eagles was disastrous. Weeden was 12-of-35 for 118 yards and threw four interceptions. It will probably get worse – or remain as bad – before it gets better.
Winner The Bengals ran into a Baltimore buzz saw in the opener, but Andy Dalton is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. He throws with velocity and accuracy and he may take his frustrations out against the Browns.
Offense
The Browns were hoping to unleash powerful rookie running back Trent Richardson against the Eagles, but he gained just 39 yards on 19 carries. The Browns may have the weakest group of receivers in the league, but head coach Pat Shurmur has a decent crew on the offensive line.
Winner The Bengals made a major upgrade at the running back position when they cast aside lazy Cedric Benson and picked up former Patriot BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Green-Ellis had 91 yards running into the teeth of the Raven defense. Wideout A.J. Green is one of the top big-play threats in the league.
Defense
Winner The Browns have a solid defensive team and they are led by middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson who had 158 tackles a year ago. Strong safety T.J. Ward is a playmaker who had eight tackles, a sack and a forced fumble against the Eagles.
The Bengals got torched by the Ravens in the opener, but don’t write off this team or this defense just yet. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins can shut down the run with fellow defensive tackle Domata Peko. Atkins had two sacks against the Ravens.
Special Teams
Winner The Browns have one of the most underrated kickers in Phil Dawson. He started the season by making all three of his FG attempts against the Eagles. Joshua Cribbs is as good as kickoff returner in the NFL.
The Bengals are decent in special teams play, but they don’t have a standout return man. Placekicker Mike Nugent made 33-of-38 field goals last year and was perfect in two attempts against the Ravens.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

The Bengals have too much firepower for the Browns. After getting hammered by a powerful Baltimore team, look for the Bengals to take it out on Cleveland. The Browns will fight hard, but by the second half they won’t be able to stop Dalton and the Cincinnati passing game.

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  1. Nigel Williams-Goss #5 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts after a play in the second half against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 1, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. Kennedy Meeks #3 and Justin Jackson #44 of the North Carolina Tar Heels react in the second half against the Oregon Ducks during the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 1, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.
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  2. Joel Berry II #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels handles the ball in the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at FedExForum on March 26, 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee. Tyler Dorsey #5 of the Oregon Ducks reacts in the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional at Sprint Center on March 25, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.
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  3. osh Perkins #13 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs celebrateswith teammates in the second half against the Xavier Musketeers during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament West Regional at SAP Center on March 25, 2017 in San Jose, California. Chris Silva #30 of the South Carolina Gamecocks reacts after a play against the Florida Gators in the second half during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden on March 26, 2017 in New York City.
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