CLEVELAND, Ohio (WCMH) — This year’s first edition of the Battle of Ohio features two No. 1 overall draft picks as Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals clash with Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium in front of 6,000 fans on Thursday night.
Both teams are coming off very different, yet equally disappointing Week 1 losses.
Cincinnati’s Week 1 Woes
The Bengals’ offense was lackluster for most of its 16-13 loss against the Chargers, which ended with Randy Bullock missing a chip-shot field goal to send the game to overtime.
Cincinnati only scored one touchdown on 23-yard run from Burrow while the Bengals’ lead rusher, Joe Mixon, only ran for 69 yards and fumbled in the fourth quarter, which led to the Chargers’ go-ahead field goal.
The Bengals’ offensive line also gave up three sacks, and Burrow committed a rookie mistake by throwing an ill-advised shovel pass that was intercepted with less than six minutes left in the game.
Bengals’ Week 1 Positives
One positive for Bengals’ fans to take away was how Burrow responded to throwing that interception.
Cincinnati’s defense forced a three and out on the ensuing drive, and Burrow led the Bengals 69 yards down the field completing 9-of-11 passes, not including an A.J. Green touchdown that was negated for offensive pass interference with seven seconds remaining.
The Bengals’ defense only gave up one touchdown, held the Chargers to 207 yards passing and put pressure on Tyrod Taylor with four quarterback hits, four tackles for a loss and two sacks.
Cleveland’s Week 1 Woes
Where to start? The Browns were thoroughly thumped by the defending AFC North Champion Baltimore Ravens 38-6. Mayfield threw for less than 200 yards with an interception and the Browns fumbled twice, including on an inexplicable fake punt from their own 31-yard line early in the first quarter.
Cleveland also allowed reigning MVP Lamar Jackson to throw for 270 yards and three touchdowns on 21-for-26 passing and 45 yards rushing.
Austin Seibert was swiftly cut from the Browns after missing an extra point and a field goal, and ironically picked up by the Bengals following Bullock’s missed field goal and mysterious calf injury.
Cleveland’s Week 1 Positives
The Browns’ rushing attack will be lethal this year featuring the 1-2 punch of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb who combined for 132 yards with the duo capable of much more since the Browns only ran the ball 27 times.
Cleveland’s rush defense proved effective as well limiting the Ravens to 107 yards on the ground and only 62 yards rushing to Baltimore’s running backs.
- Cincinnati right guard Xavier Su’a-Filo OUT (ankle injury, former Buckeye Billy Price expected to start in his place)
- Cincinnati defensive tackle Geno Atkins OUT (shoulder injury)
- Cincinnati defensive tackle Mike Daniels OUT (groin injury)
- Cleveland offensive tackle Jack Conklin QUESTIONABLE (ankle/finger)
- Cleveland offensive tackle Chris Hubbard QUESTIONABLE (ankle)
- Cleveland offensive tackle Jedrick Willis Jr. QUESTIONABLE (shin)
- Cleveland center JC Tretter QUESTIONABLE (knee)
Battle of Ohio History
- The Bengals lead 51-42 in the “Battle of Ohio” series and have won nine of the last 13 games
- Bengals and Browns both won once last year
- Bengals trail 20-26 in games at Cleveland