Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs CIN

Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs CIN


Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs CIN


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Prediction: CLE 14, CIN 30 (Line: CIN by 6)

This is the Thursday night game. The 5-3 Browns are on a two game winning streak but are only 1-2 on the road. The 5-2-1 Bengals are just a half game ahead in theNFC North and haven’t lost a home game this year. These teams traded home wins in 2013. The Bengals won 41-20 in Cincinnati.

Cleveland Browns

1 @PIT 27-30 10 @CIN —–
2 NO 26-24 11 HOU —–
3 BAL 21-23 12 @ATL —–
4 BYE —– 13 @BUF —–
5 @TEN 29-28 14 IND —–
6 PIT 31-10 15 CIN —–
7 @JAC 6-24 16 @CAR —–
8 OAK 23-13 17 @BAL —–
9 TB 22-17  
News | Statistics | Roster
CLE @ CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Austin Davis 200,1
QB Josh McCown 230,2
WR Taylor Gabriel 4-60
WR Brian Hartline 3-40

The Browns come off a three game stretch against the Jaguars, Raiders and Buccaneers – about as good as it gets though they lost to the Jaguars because it was an away game.The defense has played well but faced some very weak offenses and that the Browns held to Steelers to only ten points seems more remarkable every week. These last three games saw the team unhappy with Brian Hoyer but not enough to make any change. After this week, the Browns catch another break with the Texans and Falcons up next. What remains to be seen is in week 12 when Josh Gordon should return, who his quarterback will be. Unfortunately from week 13 on the Browns suffer a very tough stretch to end the year.

QUARTERBACK : It isn’t that Brian Hoyer is a bad quarterback, it is that he’s no difference maker and remains what he has always been – an average player capable of little more than average games unless facing a really weak defense. But the Browns continue to wait before trotting out Johnny Manziel if only because of the media problems it would cause and the fact it signals that the Browns are admitting the season is lost. They are not there yet but they will want to see Manziel at some point so they can decide what their 2015 plans are.

Hoyer was gone by week 11 last year when Jason Campbell passed for 248 yards and one score in Cincinnati.

RUNNING BACK : The shift in the backfield rotation continues with Isaiah Crowell being almost entirely phased out and Terrance West sharing the load with Ben Tate and yet doing much more with it. West ran 15 times for 48 yards against the Buccaneers while Tate was held to only three yards on ten runs. West even scored on his only catch last week. But the rotation continues with West and Tate. This is an offense that produced nine rushing scores but rarely allows any back to run more than 20 times. There is no certainty that this is the end of the changes either. HC Mike Pettine said that West earned more work but that’s only moving to the top of the rotation.

WIDE RECEIVER : Taylor Gabriel registered his first NFL touchdown in the win over the Bucs and the rookie speedster has turned in over 60 yards in production in four of the last six games but has yet to break 100 yards. Andrew Hawkins has been the only consistently productive wideout but was unable to practice because of an undisclosed injury to his leg. If he doesn’t play – and he has just a few days to heal – the Browns have a big hole to fill and no one to fill it. Marginal passing has kept this crew outside of fantasy relevance other than Hawkins. With Hawkins and Jordan Cameron both questionable this week, a wideout needs to step up and make a difference. So far no one on the roster suggests that is possible.

TIGHT END : Jordan Cameron is still out with a concussion and in his place Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray are just blockers.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Already missing Cameron and potentially not having Hawkins would be tough enough at home but on the road is likely a death knell. Gabriel and Miles Austin are hardly enough to move the offense. The Bengals are weaker against tight ends but without Cameron that doesn’t matter. There is a chance for a rushing score since they Bengals have allowed nine scores to the position but at Cincy no back has rushed for more than 100 yards and the Browns are going to rotate West and Tate anyway. None of these players are more than a desperation start other than West who should manage at least moderate stats so long as they use him as a receiver as well.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 29 22 10 19 11 13
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 17 25 7 30 23 8

Cincinnati Bengals

1 @BAL 23-16 10 CLE —–
2 ATL 24-10 11 @NO —–
3 TEN 33-7 12 @HOU —–
4 BYE —– 13 @TB —–
5 @NE 17-43 14 PIT —–
6 CAR 37-37 15 @CLE —–
7 @IND 0-27 16 DEN —–
8 BAL 27-24 17 @PIT —–
9 JAC 33-23  
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 240,2
RB Jeremy Hill 110,1 2-20
WR A.J. Green 5-80,1
PK Mike Nugent 3 FG 3 XP

The Bengals remain atop the AFC North where the top three teams are all on two or three game winning streaks. Beating the Ravens without A.J. Green gives them the sweep and this week is critical to win for divisional aspirations. The remaining schedule should come down to what happens in the two remaining meetings with the suddenly resurgent Steelers. A short week and a home game gives even more advantage to the Bengals.

QUARTERBACK : The focus on the rushing game has meant that Andy Dalton’s production is inconsistent at best and depends entirely on what the backfield doesn’t accomplish. Dalton scored twice in each of the last three home games though versus the Ravens he actually ran in two touchdowns for the first time this season. With Green back, Dalton is more likely to turn in his normal moderate stats this week.

RUNNING BACK : Giovani Bernard suffered both shoulder and hip injuries that kept him out of the win over the Jaguars. The hip pointer is expected to keep him out again this week since the game is on Thursday and Bernard doesn’t appear nearly ready. He may be a game time decision as a form of gamesmanship. But the Bengals are in good hands with Jeremy Hill who used his first start to gain 154 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries last week. Cedric Peerman was only there for minor relief while Hill was able to take over the backfield. This offense already has ten rushing scores and at home versus the Browns will be looking for more.

I am not projecting for Bernard since it seems he won’t play but his status may not be certain until game time.

WIDE RECEIVER : A.J. Green returned after missing three games because of a toe injury but he was eased back into the game. His six targets ended with three catches for 44 yards and one touchdown. Green himself says that he’ll be more involved this week. While he was out, Mohamed Sanu stepped up to make a big difference. In the three games without Green, Sanu topped 120 yards in two of them and scored once. Even with Green back, Sanu turned in four receptions for 95 yards and a score in the win over the Jaguars. This offense is still more about rushing but the passing game is plenty healthy with both Green and Sanu on the field.

TIGHT END : Jermaine Gresham has not scored but stepped up his game as well when Green was out. Gresham was gaining around 50 yards per game in his absence but dropped to 36 yards on five catches last week.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Browns always allow one or two passing scores every week along with moderate to good yardage. This game turns more on the rushing of Hill against a defense that allowed four scores over the last three road games. Even Denard Robinson just ran for 127 yards on the Browns. CB Joe Haden will match on Sanu unless they move him but Sanu won’t stay in one spot anyway. Consider Dalton , Sanu and Green as decent plays this week and Hill a must start.

Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 27 7 18 25 13 24
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 14 20 23 12 15 1

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