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Thread: Bengals v. Browns Preview (WHO DEY)

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    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Bengals v. Browns Preview (WHO DEY)

    Browns Await Bengals on Long Road Back to Playoffs
    Cincinnati Looks to End 14-Year Postseason Drought, Spoil Crennel's Debut


    After finishing strong last year but again falling short of the postseason, the Cincinnati Bengals know the importance of a good start.

    The Bengals, who have not made the playoffs since 1990, will try to spoil the debut of coach Romeo Crennel as they visit the Cleveland Browns.

    Cincinnati has finished 8-8 after losing four of its first five games in each of the last two seasons under coach Marvin Lewis. Before Lewis arrived, the Bengals hadn't managed seven wins in a season since 1997.

    Last year, a slow start was understandable as Carson Palmer became the Bengals No. 1 quarterback after not taking a snap as a rookie in 2003. Palmer improved steadily and threw for 835 yards and nine touchdowns in the last three games of 2004.

    "We have to win," offensive tackle Willie Anderson said about the season opener. "We have to go up there not sugarcoating this thing."

    The Bengals have talent around Palmer in running back Rudi Johnson and receivers Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Rudi Johnson made just five starts in his first three seasons, but helped Cincinnati overcome the departure of Corey Dillon as he rushed for 1,454 yards and 12 TDs.

    Chad Johnson started the Pro Bowl for a second straight season after recording a career-high 95 receptions and 1,274 yards.

    "We need (a good start). Our whole key to our success is the first five games," he said. "The first five games will tell us whether we're going to the postseason or not."

    The Bengals have lost 10 of their last 14 season openers, including a 24-7 defeat on Sept. 10, 2000, in the first game at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

    "The last couple of years, we were sitting at home after being 8-8," Anderson said. "We won five games down the stretch, but lost three or four early on that cost us. So we realize the importance."

    While the Bengals have gone quite some time without a playoff appearance, Crennel waited even longer to become a head coach. After 24 years as an NFL assistant, including four seasons as defensive coordinator for the three-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, Crennel takes over a team that has not won a playoff game since 1995.

    Cleveland won its opener last year, but lost eight of its next 10 games before coach Butch Davis resigned. With a slew of injuries, the Browns lost four straight under interim coach Terry Robiskie before ending the season with a 22-14 victory at Houston.

    Due to injury and ineffectiveness, the Browns rotated Jeff Garcia, Kelly Holcomb and Luke McCown at quarterback last season. This year, Crennel is hoping veteran Trent Dilfer will provide a steady presence behind center.

    Dilfer was the quarterback for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in 2000, when Lewis was defensive coordinator. The 33-year-old signed with Seattle the following season, but appeared in 23 games in four seasons with the Seahawks.

    Last year as Matt Hasselbeck's backup, Dilfer completed 25 of 58 passes for 333 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions in five games. The Browns gave Dilfer a four-year, $8 million contract and his experience will be key with the backup being third-round pick Charlie Frye.

    "The pressure makes me feel more alive, and I embrace the hard times as well as the good times. It's just exciting to go into that huddle and have everybody look you in the eyes and know they depend on you," Dilfer said.

    While Dilfer will have a chance to revitalize his career, receiver Antonio Bryant gets an opportunity to fulfill his potential. Bryant was acquired from Dallas for receiver Quincy Morgan last October after tossing a jersey at Cowboys coach Bill Parcells during a mini-camp argument.

    Bryant has big-play capability and showed it with a 51-yard touchdown catch from Dilfer in a preseason win over Detroit.


    Game Info


    TV: CBS | Time: Sun., 1PM ET
    Site: Cleveland - Cleveland Browns Stadium
    2004 Records: CLE (4-12) | CIN (8-8)
    Line: Bengals by 3 1/2
    Last Meeting: Nov. 28; Bengals, 58-48.
    At Cincinnati, Palmer threw for 251 yards
    and four touchdowns to overcome a
    Browns-record five TDs by Holcomb as the
    teams combined for the second-highest
    scoring game in NFL history.
    More Info: Weather | Schedule

    "He's had a great camp," Dilfer said. "He's really developing into a fine player. I want to try and give him the ball every chance that I get. He made a very average pass look good - he attacked the football in the air. When you have guys that will do that for you, and I have not had many of those in my career, it makes you willing to make more aggressive decisions in plays."

    Cleveland may have to do without its top running back as Lee Suggs missed the final three preseason games with a sprained ankle. Suggs ended last season with three straight 100-yard games. If he is unavailable, Reuben Droughns and William Green could split the carries.

    "The starter might be a game time decision to give Cincinnati something to think about," Crennel said.

    While Crennel had one of the top defenses in the league with New England, he inherits a unit that was ranked last against the run and 15th overall in 2004.

    2004 Standings: Bengals - 3rd place, AFC North. Browns - 4th place, AFC North.

    2004 Bengals Leaders: Offense - Palmer, 2,897 passing yards and 18 passing TDs; Rudi Johnson, 1,454 rushing yards and 12 rushing TDs; Chad Johnson, 95 receptions, 1,274 receiving yards and 9 receiving TDs. Defense - Justin Smith, 8 sacks; Tory James, 8 INTs.

    2004 Browns Leaders: Offense - Garcia, 1,731 passing yards and 10 passing TDs; Suggs, 744 rushing yards; Garcia, Green and Suggs, 2 rushing TDs; Dennis Northcutt, 55 receptions and 806 receiving yards; Steve Heiden, 5 receiving TDs. Defense - Ebenezer Ekuban, 8 sacks; Anthony Henry, 4 INTs.

    2004 Bengals Team Rank: Rushing Offense - 114.9 yards per game (17th in NFL); Passing Offense - 206.3 ypg (17th); Total Offense - 321.5 ypg (18th). Rushing Defense - 128.9 ypg (26th); Passing Defense - 206.4 ypg (13th); Total Defense - 335.3 ypg (19th).

    2004 Browns Team Rank: Rushing Offense - 103.6 ypg (23rd); Passing Offense - 176.5 ypg (25th); Total Offense - 280.1 ypg (28th). Rushing Defense - 144.6 ypg (32nd); Passing Defense - 181.3 ypg (5th); Total Defense - 325.9 ypg (15th).

    Last Meeting: Nov. 28; Bengals, 58-48. At Cincinnati, Palmer threw for 251 yards and four touchdowns to overcome a Browns-record five TDs by Holcomb as the teams combined for the second-highest scoring game in NFL history.

    Streaks and Notes: Bengals - CB James had two INTs in a 34-17 loss at Cleveland last Oct. 17. ... Under Lewis, Cincinnati is 9-1 when posting a positive-turnover ratio. ... QB Palmer has thrown at least two TD passes in each of his last four starts. Browns - QB Dilfer has a 97.5 passer rating in three games against the Bengals, completing 45 of 76 passes for 540 yards with five TDs and one INT. ... Cleveland has forced five turnovers and recorded six sacks in its last four games against Cincinnati. ... WR Northcutt needs 77 punt-return yards to break the team record held by Gerald McNeil (1,545).

    2004 Road/Home Records: Bengals - 3-5 on the road; Browns - 3-5 at home.

    Injuries: Bengals - QUESTIONABLE: WR Kelley Washington (hamstring). PROBABLE: CB James (toe). Browns - DOUBTFUL: CB Gary Baxter (concussion); RB Suggs (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: TE Aaron Shea (shoulder).


    09/07/05 19:23 EDT

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    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals v. Browns Preview (WHO DEY)

    I don't want to jinx my Bengals, so I'm not going to comment on the game, other than to add that the announcers for the game will be Ian Eagle and Solomon Wilcots.

    Help stamp out, eliminate, and do away with redundancy.

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    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals v. Browns Preview (WHO DEY)

    I'm actually siding with the boydsofsummer on this one. I cheer for the burnt orange and seal brown.

    Doesn't mean they are going to win on Sunday. But it sure would be nice.
    Some people play baseball. Baseball plays Jay Bruce.

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals v. Browns Preview (WHO DEY)

    Quote Originally Posted by Heath
    I'm actually siding with the boydsofsummer on this one. I cheer for the burnt orange and seal brown.

    Doesn't mean they are going to win on Sunday. But it sure would be nice.
    Same here!

    We need to get a good chat going for this game!

    Anyone interested?

    Those who know me on here, know how die-hard of a Browns fan I am. But I also follow and root for the Bengals. Just not when they are playing me Browns.

    I think the Bengals are gonna be much improved this year, and get over that hump. There are high expectations for this team.

    The Browns set themselves on the right path by hiring Savage away from the Ravens, and also cleaning house of some players with lackluster performance, poor work habits, and attitudes. Now they are in Denver! Thank God!

    And they did alot of good/improvement in free agency also. But I think it will still be a rough road this year. And the main reason is getting acclimated to the 3-4. Not an easy thing to do.

    And both these teams have tough schedules this year.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Re: Bengals v. Browns Preview (WHO DEY)

    Really, this is as close to a "must-win" for the Bengals as it could possibly get for the first game of the year. It's a division game vs. a bad team and there is no excuse for not winning this one - especially considering that the Steelers and Ravens will both likely sweep Cleveland. If this game was in Dec. it would be a must-win, so there is no reason it shouldn't be now.

    The Bengals under Marvin Lewis have started slow but roared through November. And with that ugly stretch coming vs. PIT, BAL, INDY and Green Bay, you gotta win this one now.

    I think the Bengals will win.

    28-20 good guys

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    Re: Bengals v. Browns Preview (WHO DEY)

    I honestly think the Browns are on the right path and in 2-3 years Romeo will have 'em playing competitive ball. I also believe that a lot of the hype around the Bengals this year is based on hope and faith more than cold hard facts. That said, I think the Browns talent level is absolutely terrible this year and the Bengals will prevail in an ugly game.

    Crennell will be able to scheme the Browns into hanging around in most games, but the sheer lack of talent on that squad will prevent them from posting more than six wins. However, the do have a couple of keepers in Savage/Crennell and they will turn things around as soon as they have assembled a group of talented players.

    Three years into the Marvin Lewis era, the Bengals have now assembled enough talent to compete with anyone. However, they really haven't shown the ability to put out a consistent effort on the field week after week. They are still very much an up and down team that will pull off the big upset one week and then lay an egg the next. For all the talk about how wonderful the offense will be, they ended up last year as a middle of the pack offensive squad that might still be a year or two away from joining the elite. I personally think the Bengals are a 0.500 team again. Hopefully, they'll catch a little luck and eke out a couple of extra wins and qualify for the playoffs.

    I'm guessing both teams move the ball pretty well on Sunday, but fail to finish off drives. In the end, the Bengals will win a close one, 20-17.
    Last edited by Steve4192; 09-10-2005 at 01:47 PM.

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    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals v. Browns Preview (WHO DEY)

    I will be in my traditional spot for this game, upper deck of Cleveland Browns Stadium, cheering the Bengals in a sea of Browns fans. I have the good fortune of a friend with Browns season tickets and an uncle with Bengals season tickets, so I just broker a ticket swap for the extra seats. Works out quite nicely, since I end up with a seat for both games. I'm just glad they've got the game in Cleveland early and the game in Cincinnati late, because cold weather games are brutal on the lake, just as the warm weather games are on the river.

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals v. Browns Preview (WHO DEY)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee
    I will be in my traditional spot for this game, upper deck of Cleveland Browns Stadium, cheering the Bengals in a sea of Browns fans. I have the good fortune of a friend with Browns season tickets and an uncle with Bengals season tickets, so I just broker a ticket swap for the extra seats. Works out quite nicely, since I end up with a seat for both games. I'm just glad they've got the game in Cleveland early and the game in Cincinnati late, because cold weather games are brutal on the lake, just as the warm weather games are on the river.
    Just don't go anywhere near the Dawg Pound. Had a co-worker get seats there awhile back (he's a Steeler fan) - and was dressed in full Steeler attire. Security had to escort him out to protect his life!

    A STUPID move on his part.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals v. Browns Preview (WHO DEY)

    Shame they don't have ties anymore
    Go Gators!

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    So Long Uncle Joe BoydsOfSummer's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals v. Browns Preview (WHO DEY)

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC
    Just don't go anywhere near the Dawg Pound. Had a co-worker get seats there awhile back (he's a Steeler fan) - and was dressed in full Steeler attire. Security had to escort him out to protect his life!

    A STUPID move on his part.
    LOL! I belong to the Oxford Browns Backers club and I usually get tix for the Bengal game at Cleveland (This year it's the stoolers). I took my buddy who is a 'gal fan up there year before last with the stipulation that he must wear his #28 Dillon jersey with pride. Our seats are always in the Dawg Pound. Fellow pounders did exactly that -pounded him without mercy for the whole game...lol. All in good fun though.

    However, there was another 'gal fan with the group seated at the other end of the row, who didn't fare as well. After one too many beers and within the last minute of the 'gal victory, this dipstick stands up on his seat wearing his Carl Pickens jersey, points towards the other end like George Washington crossing the Delaware and declares -"SCOREBOARD!" The fella sitting in front of him, decked out in full Dawg Pound gear turns and punches him full on in the 'nads! Hilarity and security soon took over.
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    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals v. Browns Preview (WHO DEY)

    Browns are 3 1/2 point dawgs...

    I don't know, I think Bengals romp in this one.

    42-21 Bengals

    WHOoooo DEYyyyy

    WHOooo DEYyyyy

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    got alil captain in u?
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    Re: Bengals v. Browns Preview (WHO DEY)

    bengals by 14 to much offense for the bengals and not enough experince in crennels system is the browns downfall close till the 4th then the bengals really turn it on

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    Re: Bengals v. Browns Preview (WHO DEY)

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC
    Just don't go anywhere near the Dawg Pound. Had a co-worker get seats there awhile back (he's a Steeler fan) - and was dressed in full Steeler attire. Security had to escort him out to protect his life!

    A STUPID move on his part.
    I'm not really concerned too much. In the section I will be in, the folks pretty much limit their behavior to various obscene chants hurled my direction. It bugs the guys who sit directly behind me because they feel that everyone spends more time worring about what others in the stands are wearing rather than what happens on the field.

    One interesting subplot that happens every year involves this guy who sits in the row in front of us who is a real horndog. The first year I went to a Browns-Bengals game on the season ticket swap deal, I had this very attractive, yet very dim girl sitting next to me, dressed very "hoochie." Her boyfriend sat on the other side of her with his buddies. Now, as an aside to give a little background, this was the year after 9/11 and they had lifted the "no fly" restriction at Burke Lakefront Airport (next to the stadium) during games. Thus, about halfway into the first quarter, Miss "Hoochie" turns to me and says, "I don't feel comfortable sitting here with all these Talibans (sic) flying over head. Why are they flying so close the the stadium? Are they trying to bomb us?" I simply pointed to the airport just beyond the east endzone and said "We're in the flight pattern."

    Anyway, it's about this time that this guy in front of us turns around and notices who I'm sitting next to. We started noticing him looking back every so often, checking her out. Then, every time her boyfriend went to get beer, which was often, he would turn around and "mouth" propositions to her and make rude gestures, to which she would respond by flipping him off or telling him he was dreaming. Anyway, she and her boyfriend disappear during halftime, ostensibly to consume mass quantities. When they returned, boyfriend appeared to be in bad shape. Sure enough, he was passed out in his seat halfway through the third quarter. Of course, once boyfriend passed out, the guy in front of us kept up with the flirting, interspersing his propositions with "I love you" and "You are smokin'!" Seeing as her boyfriend was out of it, she started playing back. Both of them were getting pretty explicit with their "flirting," up until there was about 5 minutes left on the clock. At that point, Miss "Hoochie" got up and went down to the concourse, leaving boyfriend behind. Thirty seconds later, the guy heads down too. Neither returns before the end of the game. As we're leaving, we walk by the guy, standing in front of the unisex bathroom. My friend asks him "So, what happened?" The guy proceeds to give us the entire "play-by-play" of his escaped with her in the unisex bathroom.

    Every year now, whenever I'm at the game, we usually have one or two young, attractive ladies sitting near me, and the guy in front of us keeps trying to score with them, hoping lightning will strike twice. Last year, he wanted to trade seats with me, so I told him I would, for $100. If I once again have some good-looking women in my immediate vicinity, I have a feeling the guy is going to show up with $100, he's that bad.

    The worst part of it all...he got married 2 years ago, has brought his wife to games, and yet still tries to score with the ladies when she's not there.

    Needless to say, things are usually interesting on and off the field at good ole' Cleveland Browns Stadium.

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    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Bengals v. Browns Preview (WHO DEY)

    Quote Originally Posted by BoydsOfSummer
    However, there was another 'gal fan with the group seated at the other end of the row, who didn't fare as well. After one too many beers and within the last minute of the 'gal victory, this dipstick stands up on his seat wearing his Carl Pickens jersey, points towards the other end like George Washington crossing the Delaware and declares -"SCOREBOARD!" The fella sitting in front of him, decked out in full Dawg Pound gear turns and punches him full on in the 'nads! Hilarity and security soon took over.
    Now that's something I'll never understand about some Browns fans. I love watching football, and it's definitely a lot of fun to go to the games, but when you think about it, it is just a game. There's no need to get violent about it. I prefer to watch the violence on the field, not be a part of it in the stands. Trash talking, good, fisticuffs, bad.


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