Another wild week in the NFL saw two underdogs win straight up and one lose but cover the spread. As we enter Monday Night Football and take a look at a Bengals at Browns preview, the playoff picture is already starting to come together. The Bengals are surging in the AFC and trying to keep pace with powerhouses in Buffalo and Kansas City. On the other side of the ball, the Browns are just trying to keep pace in the division until quarterback Deshaun Watson returns.
This is a battle for Ohio on Monday Night Football – let’s ride.
Cincinnati Bengals (-165) at Cleveland Browns (+140) – Monday, 8:15 PM EST
Bengals at Browns Game Preview
The biggest news coming out of Cincinnati this week is the unfortunate injury to 2021 Rookie of the Year Ja’Marr Chase. Chase will be out 4-6 weeks with a hip injury but the team announced he will not be moved to the IR. This is not optimal as the Bengals sit just below the AFC North leading Ravens. However, a bright spot for Quarterback Joe Burrow is he still has two very capable Wideouts in Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Not to mention, a stud Running back in Joe Mixon. This offense will miss Chase, but this serves as an opportunity to rally around their teammate and keep themselves in contention.
Boyd and Higgins are tied for 2nd with 455 receiving yards behind Ja’Marr Chase. Burrow has played well this season with all his receivers, racking up 2,097 passing yards and 15 touchdowns through the team’s first 7 games. Now is the time for the Bengals to finally get their run game going with Joe Mixon. Mixon comes into this game averaging just over 3 yards per carry and only two touchdowns. Considering the rest of the weapons they have, this offense should be just fine.
Cincinnati’s defense is tied for 6th in points against as they have allowed only 18.9 points/game. They are allowing 119 rushing yards per game, which doesn’t bode well as they are set to face Nick Chubb. Chubb has been putting on a clinic through the first seven games with 6 yards per carry and 8 touchdowns. The Bengals main concern Monday Night must be shutting down Chubb. They are coming off a huge win against the Falcons that saw them allow just 17 points. This defense is playing phenomenal and is keeping the Bengals in playoff contention. Safety Vonn Bell is leading the way with three interceptions through seven games.
The biggest negative for this defense has been the pass rush. They rank 22nd in total sacks and if they can improve that, this defense will be top 5.
Cincinnati Bengals Notable Injuries- WR Ja’Marr Chase (O), CB Eli Apple (D)
Cleveland comes into this one on a 4-game skid. Their offensive line hasn’t done anything to help an already average quarterback. Jacoby Brissett is averaging 226 passing yards per game and has been sacked fourteen times this season.
The Browns offense has weapons between Chubb, Cooper, Hunt and Njoku. There is definitely enough there to keep opposing defenses on their toes if they can just protect Brissett and give him time to throw. Nick Chubb has been electric this year averaging 105 rushing yards per game and eight touchdowns, both lead the league. Kareem Hunt has run for 263 rushing yards this season and has been a great complement to Chubb. The run game has not been the issue for Cleveland. The passing game is where the Browns need to place their focus. With Chubb dominating, the offensive line needs to protect Brissett better to at least give them a chance to start winning some ball games.
The Cleveland defense is averaging 135 rushing yards per game which has to have running back Joe Mixon salivating for this MNF matchup. They have only allowed 210 passing yards per game and will need to maintain this as they go up against a potent pass attack. They have shown that they can get after the quarterback, as evidenced by their 14 sacks through 7 games.
This is not unfamiliar territory for Joe Burrow as he is coming off a historic season in terms of being sacked. The Cleveland defense will need to get after him early and often before he starts heating up. The biggest concern has been getting timely takeaways this season. They only have two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. If they are going to steal one against Cincy, they are going to need to get some turnovers.
Cleveland Browns Notable Injuries- DE Jadeveon Clowney (Q), TE David Njoku (O), CB Greg Newsome II (Q), CB Denzel Ward (O)
Fantasy Football Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em
Cincinnati Bengals Start ‘Em
- Joe Mixon 2. Joe Burrow 3. Tyler Boyd
Cincinnati Bengals Sit ‘Em
- Hayden Hurst 2. Samaje Perine
Cleveland Browns Start ‘Em
- Nick Chubb 2. Kareem Hunt
Cleveland Browns Sit ‘Em
- Jacoby Brissett 2. Browns Defense
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns NFL Week 8 Pick
The Bengals will be inspired to get a win for their injured teammate. Joe Burrow will have a huge game through the air while Mixon will back that up with a strong performance on the ground. Cincinnati’s defense will be too much to handle for quarterback Jacoby Brissett. The Bengals will take this game by two scores. The spread at 3 points is too short, hammer it all day.
Final Score: Cincinnati 24 – Cleveland 10
Wicked Wager – Cincinnati -3 (-120)
Wicked Player Prop – Jacoby Brissett Total Passing Yards Under 217.5 (-115)