Browns over Bengals today.

460x

Bengals should have kept Gradkowski.
An aphorism any Ohio kid could tell you: when in doubt, keep the Toledo Rocket football player.

This was going to be a simple comment inside the Cheddar thread and it morphed into a mini-post.  Here’s what I’m looking at in today’s Browns/Bengals game.

  • I am trying very hard not to be influenced by my fandom nor current 32-8 Cheddar lean to the Browns on this pick.  The second is easy since the public is 63% with the Bengals.  The former, I just need to own.
  • I’m also on record as loving what the Bengals have built in terms of a big/tall/physical secondary; freakishly long edge rusher; Zimmer-run no-frills 4-3 with baller linebackers not combine freaks.  The depth at WR and TE is great; the o-line is sound.  Need to take this bias out of the mix too.

So let’s do a quick/dirty review of Kanick’s takes for today’s effective playoff game for the Brownies.

Matchups go like this:

jason-pinkston

Welcome back.

Horton >>> Gruden.
Zimmer > Turner.
Green > Haden.
Jones/Sanu > Skrine.
Eifert/Gresham >>> Browns’ seam.
Browns’ front > Cincy Oline.
Gio Bernard + Law firm >> Browns LBs.
Browns’ health >>> Bengals’ Atkins, Hall, Zeitler, Crocker, Maualuga out; Gresham and Cook are hurt.  Browns get Pinkston back.
Chud > Marvin.
But the two factors that have me leaning Browns are:

1. Browns run game better with Pinkston.

I know Chud says he’s not starting but that might be coach B.S. Pinkston is active. Lauvao has been a bag of suck (as Kanick correctly identified pre-season). His run block rates out horribly; it’s hard not to think that being anchored next to Lauvao has cause the regression of Schwartz. Lack of run game is a major limiting factor for the Browns. Adding a decent guard and dropping a crap guard will help.

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 10.00.44 AM

When you can’t trust your eyes, statistics!  Thanks PFF!

2. Kevin “26-starts-in-a-row” Zeitler, out.

That’s one reliable draft pick the Bengals got in Wisconsin’s Kevin Zeitler.  He’s out, who takes his place.  Depth chart shows fifth round rookie from Kansas, Tanner Hawkinson as Zeitler’s backup.  But Hawkinson is out too.  Whoever lines up will be looking at the best/deepest/toughest and becoming meannest interior d-line in the NFL.  Taylor-Rubin-Hughes-Bryant-Bryant-Winn.  Who’s better?

This will affect…

3.  Dalton.
Wild Card Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Houston Texans

Not a fan here.

Nobody does less with more.

I think Dalton sucks.  A charisma-less pod incapable of inspiring teammates.

If that’s not a clear enough description of my feelings on Dalton, here are some tweets from last week while watching Dalton in action.

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4.  Bye week = advantage Browns.
We’ve been pretty happy with the game plans out of Turner and Horton and Chud.  Two weeks of prep time?  Division rival?  Effective playoff game?  I have a fair amount of confidence that Horton will make the most out of the Zeitler loss and Dalton’s tendencies; Norv will be able to manage something with Atkins and Hall out and the dicey weather.  I’m giving the Browns an edge in coaching and isn’t that a refreshing change?
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The pick.

If ever the hyped Horton defense should show its chops it’s today in bad weather vs. the blind (Gruden) leading the incompetent (Dalton).

It’s coming down to a choice between riding with the Browns’ one-dimensional offense being forced by weather into MORE McGahee and Andy Dalton.

I’ll take the one-dimensional offense in bad weather plus 5.5 points.

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  • zarathustra

    MACtion lines for tonight? I’m seeing ohio -7 and buffalo -25.

    • I gave GRR OU -5.5 and UB -24.5 last night so let’s stick with that.

  • bupalos

    Weirdest game ever, and you’re just never going to win with 2 blocked punts and 4 other turnovers (and essentially another turnover on a 4th and 3 offsides on a punt). Too bad, I still think we’re the better team, but we better learn to cross t’s and dot i’s before we think we’re going anywhere.

    • You can’t spell “elite” without a crossed t and a dotted i.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Frowmie please remember that it is all about brutal domination and mindless rednecks. Everyone should be a docile follower of the horribly twisted and worst people on the team.
        I wonder why we never hit on this story.
        (Please see Ritchie Incockmacho.)
        You can not spell team without TAME.
        My apologies if this is not the correct venue, but your comment reminded me of a horrible “bully” story currently in the headlines.
        And one that happened to me and that for me, is still going on.
        I really want to go beat the crap out of Ritchie Incognito. (Well, after Michael Vick.)
        Beating the bully within an inch of his life does not help when the bully is the team captain. (Team captain that could not punch his way out of a paper bag, but who had safety in numbers)
        I feel a marked kinship with Jonathan Martin.

  • Zeitler out is big. I keep thinking back to that 49-9 Bengals win over the Jets, though. Cincy is desperate for a win. Tough spot for the Brownies today, even off the bye week. Will be very impressive if they pull it off.

  • bupalos

    Not to validate your preseason rant about the front office tanking us, but how much would Phil Dawson be worth today? More or less than the 2MM that got plowed back into hiring lawyers for Haslem?