Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals both suffered losses in their respective campaign openers last weekend. The Browns were thoroughly humbled 6-38 by the Lamar Jackson-led Baltimore Ravens. The 2019 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow also endured disappointment on his NFL debut with a 13-16 loss to Los Angeles Chargers at the Paul Brown Stadium.
Despite the heartbreak, Burrow can take some pride from his performance. The same cannot be said for third-year quarterback Mayfield and the rest of his Browns teammates.
Here’s a detailed look at both teams, along with injury updates and Week Two matchday predictions.
The pressure is on Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield to step up his game
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 16, 2020
The Browns have not won a single opening day game since 2004. Fans, critics, and surely the players themselves, must’ve been furious after Sunday’s dismal showing. New head coach, Kevin Stefanski, could not have had a worse start to his Browns tenure than that game. However, there is still hope for Cleveland.
Cleveland Browns will most likely be without the services of wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who is struggling with a hip condition. There are also rumors that the Browns will offload Odell Beckham Jr., but there is no confirmation of it yet.
Stefanski needs to sort his team in time as they gear up for a tough home game against the Bengals. Quarterback Baker Mayfield will be sweating ahead of this one.
Joe Burrow looks to get his first win in the NFL on Thursday night
Fired up for Thursday Night ‼ pic.twitter.com/p1Il59aFwl
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) September 16, 2020
Joe Burrow showed flashes of brilliance against the Chargers on the weekend. The former LSU man completed 23 of his 36 attempted passes. He threw four 193 yards against one interception. The youngster almost led the Bengals to OT in the fourth quarter, but fell short by the smallest of margins.
Coach Zac Taylor will hope that his star rookie will learn from that loss and work on his game before going up against the Browns. RB Joe Mixon and wide receivers, AJ Green and CJ Uzomah, also had a productive outing against the Chargers.
Kicker Randy Bullock might start on Thursday, despite the addition of Austin Seifert to the Bengals roster. Apart from that, Taylor is likely to stick to the same group of players, barring any unforeseen injuries before the game.
NFL Preview: Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals Injury Updates
Cleveland – Out
CB Kevin Johnson – Liver
CB Greedy Williams – Shoulder
LB Mack Wilson – Knee
LB Jacob Phillips – Knee
T Jack Conklin – Ankle/Finger
T Chris Hubbard – Ankle
C JC Tretter – Knee
WR Jarvis Landry – Hip
DE Olivier Vernon – Abdomen
T Jedrick Wills Jr. – Shin
Cincinnati – Out
DT Geno Atkins – Shoulder
DT Mike Daniels – Groin
S Shawn Williams – Calf
G Xavier Su’a-Filo – Ankle
Browns vs Bengals Prediction
Cleveland Browns 14 – 20 Cincinnati Bengals
We’re going with Zac Taylor’s Cincinnati Bengals for this one. We feel rookie Joe Burrow is going to finally get his first win in the NFL, unlike opponent Baker Mayfield. Based on the performance from the Ravens game, Mayfield is holding on to straws heading into this encounter.
With the future of WR Odell Beckham Jr. also unclear, the Browns appear to be in absolute chaos. A win is what they desperately need right now to steady their ship. Let’s hope coach Stefanski helps Baker rediscover his mojo before they play the Bengals on Thursday.