Our Cincinnati Bengals play Cleveland Browns NFL free pick offers a game that has little meaning except to these two teams. The Bengals (4-7-1) are third in the AFC North, while the Browns (0-12) are not only dead last in the division, but also in the AFC and NFL. The spread favors Cincinnati by five points.
The Bengals come into this game heavily favored. They have gone 1-3-1 for their last five. That includes a 32-14 win against the Eagles last week. Their tie occurred in London on Oct. 30 against the Redskins as both teams scored 27 points. The Bengals three losses were all close. The Giants took them down 21-20, Buffalo 16-12, and Baltimore 19-14.
Over the past four games, the Browns have been beaten soundly. Their last close loss was 31-28 to the Jets on Oct. 30. Since then, they have gone down to the Cowboys 35-10, Ravens 28-7, Steelers 24-9, and Giants 27-13. They are coming off their bye-week.
Cincinnati Offense vs. Browns Defense
Although Cincinnati does not have a massive, offense, they’re averaging 20.4 PPG, they did crank out some points against the Eagles last week. Plus, they are up against a defense that is allowing opponents almost 30 PPG. When in the red zone, the Bengals are scoring 51.22% of the time.
QB Andy Dalton (64.2 COMP%, 14 TDs, 6 INTs, 32 Sacks) has his work cut out for him. His primary receiver, A.J. Green, is out, and his next go-to pass catcher, Brandon LaFell (41 REC, 552 YDs, 13.5 AVG, 5 TDs), is questionable with a knee. We expect LaFell will play despite his injury, as he appeared relatively healthy in practice this week. TE Tyler Eifert (23 REC, 337 YDs, 14.7 AVG, 3 TDs) will be important in this game. Also, RB Jeremy Hill (170 ATT, 677 YDs, 4.0 AVG, 7 TDs) should have a good day against a weak Cleveland frontline, racking up some yards and a score or two.
The Browns are giving up on average over 400 yards of offense each game. That includes 268 via the pass and 141 to the rush. They are 29th in red zone defense. Cleveland is 31st in points allowed. The Browns’ basic defensive stats are telling. They have made 17 sacks, forced six fumbles, and taken down eight passes. The D has 53 PD and 28 TFL.
DB Joe Hayden (3 INTs, 10 PD) is a major force in the secondary, but he’s questionable with a groin injury. LB Christian Kirksey (1.5 Sacks, 7 TFL, 3 PD) leads the team in tackles with 114. CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun (2 INTs, 9 PD) needs to bring game for the Browns to have a shot in this contest.
Cleveland Offense vs. Bengals Defense
For the past three games, the Browns in the red zone have scored just 33.33% of the time. That ties them with four other teams for last. They are 31st in average points scored with 16.4. Chances are Josh McCown (54.5 COMP%, 6 TDs, 6 INTs, 18 Sacks) will get the start at QB in this game. The Browns have had seven different signal callers in the pocket this season. Look for his primary receiver to be Terrelle Pryor Sr. (62 REC, 855 YDs, 13.8 AVG, 4 TDs). RB Isaiah Crowell (145 ATT, 605 YDs, 4.2 AVG, 5 TDs) will get the call to anchor the ground attack.
The Bengals’ red zone defense, which is 23rd in the NFL, has been off and on. The defense is giving up an average of 21.6 PPG. Although Cincinnati does not have much of a pass rush, they do posses a sound secondary. The team has snatched 14 interceptions and defended 60 passes. They’ve also stuffed the run with 35 TFL. However, the defense has forced just six fumbles.
CB Dre Kirkpatrick (3 INTs, 7 PD) is a tough and smart competitor. He leads the team in picks. DE Carlos Dunlap has done double duty with seven sacks and 14 passes defended. LB Vontaze Burfict is extremely versatile. He leads the team in tackles with 91 and also has two sacks, three TFL, two picks, and seven PD. In addition, he’s forced one fumble. Expect a big game from the Bengal D today.
Cincinnati Bengals Play Cleveland Browns NFL Free Pick
In our Cincinnati Bengals play Cleveland Browns NFL free pick, it’s hard to imagine Cleveland keeping it close. When these two teams met early this season the Bengals easily won 31-17. You can still get Cincinnati at -5.0. Take them.
The games will be played at First Energy Stadium in Cleveland. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.