Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns | Sunday, October 25, 2020
Kickoff: 1 p.m. Eastern.
Television: The game will air on CBS-TV. In the Bengals' home region, it will be carried by WKRC-TV (Ch. 12) in Cincinnati, WHIO-TV (Ch. 7) in Dayton and on WKYT-TV (Ch. 27) in Lexington. Broadcasters are Spero Dedes (play-by-play) and Adam Archuleta (analyst).
Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).
Setting the scene: The Bengals this week return home to Paul Brown Stadium to host the division-rival Cleveland Browns. Cincinnati will be looking to bounce back, after a 31-27 loss at Indianapolis last week.
"It's a tough one to swallow, for sure," said Bengals coach Zac Taylor. "Everybody could have done one more thing to help us get the win, and that's on all of us. It's the coaches and the players — everyone's has to be accountable."
"It's tough to beat good teams on the road. We certainly had some opportunities, but we just didn't do enough to make it happen. But they did. That's the bottom line. You've got to take your hat off to them."
Cincinnati got off to a blistering start against the Colts, who entered the game with the NFL's top-ranked defense. But the Bengals scored TDs on their first three possessions, including HB Joe Mixon's seven-yard TD run on the first play of the second quarter that gave them a 21-0 advantage.
But Cincinnati failed to reach the end zone the rest of the game, scoring just six more points on two Randy Bullock FGs. Conversely, the Colts closed the gap to three at halftime before pulling ahead for good with 10 fourth-quarter points.
The Bengals had a chance to take the lead late, after Burrow led a drive deep into Colts territory with less than a minute to play. But the rookie threw an INT with 46 seconds remaining, and Indianapolis escaped with the win.
Despite the pick, though, Burrow put together another strong performance. He passed for 313 yards against the Colts' No. 1-ranked pass defense, good for his fourth 300-yard game in just six starts.
This week, the Bengals square off against a formidable Cleveland team that beat Cincinnati 35-30 in Game 2. The Browns enter the game with the NFL's top-ranked rushing offense (169.5 yards per game), and fourth-ranked rush defense (94.0).
Cleveland enters Sunday's game 4-2, after falling on the road to Pittsburgh last week, 38-7.
The series: The Bengals lead 51-43 in the "Battle of Ohio" series and have won nine of the last 14 games. Home field has been a factor over the series, as the Bengals lead 31-16 at home but trail 20-27 as the road club.
Cincinnati has played more games against Cleveland (94) than any foe except Pittsburgh. The Bengals have 101 all-time games against the Steelers.
The two teams split their divisional series last season, and the Browns won this year's first meeting on Sept. 13 at Cleveland, 35-30.
More series notes:
- The Browns swept the Bengals in 2018. It was Cleveland's first season sweep over the Bengals since 2002.
- Cleveland's win in Game 11 of 2018 snapped a seven-game Bengals winning streak against the Browns. That streak, the Bengals' longest in the series, began with the second meeting of 2014. The Bengals' previous longest streak had been a five-game run from Game 2 of 2004 through Game 2 of '06.
- The Browns' longest win streak over Cincinnati also has been seven games, extending from Game 2 of the 1992 season through Game 2 of '95.
- Since the Browns' rebirth in 1999, the Bengals lead 27-16, including 15-6 as the home team and 12-10 as the visiting team.
Bengals career records watch: Here is a look at potential upcoming movement in the Bengals' career records book (regular season):
- DE Carlos Dunlap has 82.5 career sacks, one shy of DE Eddie Edwards* (83.5) for the Bengals' all-time lead.
- Bengals DT Geno Atkins has 75.5 career sacks, six shy of Dunlap (81.5) for second place all-time. Edwards* (83.5) is the Bengals' all-time leader.
- WR A.J. Green has 63 career receiving TDs, three behind WR Chad Johnson (66) for the Bengals' all-time lead.
- Green has 63 total TDs, one short of WR Carl Pickens and RB James Brooks (both with 64) for third place all-time. FB Pete Johnson (70) is the Bengals' all-time leader.
- Bengals WR Alex Erickson has 121 career punt returns, nine shy of CB Lemar Parrish (130) for third place all-time. WR Brandon Tate (153) is the Bengals' all-time leader.
- Erickson has 924 career punt return yards, 191 shy of CB Adam Jones (1115) for fourth place all time. Tate (1411) is the Bengals' all-time leader.
- Erickson has 105 career kickoff returns, 10 shy of FB Eric Ball (115) for fifth place all-time. S/CB Tremain Mack (146) is the Bengals' all-time leader.
- Erickson has 2601 career kickoff return yards, 151 behind RB Stanford Jennings (2752) for fourth place all-time. Mack (3583) is the all-time leader.
- Bengals S Brandon Wilson has one career kickoff return for a TD, one shy of Mack (two) for the Bengals' all-time lead.
Photos of past matchups between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.
Bengals-Browns connections: Browns offensive line coach Bill Callahan is the father of Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan. Bill Callahan was also head coach at the University of Nebraska when Bengals head coach Zac Taylor played quarterback there ... Bengals TE Mason Schreck is from Medina, Ohio (Medina High School) ... Bengals QB Joe Burrow is from Athens, Ohio (Athens High School), and also played at Ohio State University from 2015-17 ... Bengals S Vonn Bell, C Billy Price, G Michael Jordan, and Browns CB Denzel Ward all played at Ohio State University ...Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt was quarterbacks coach for the Bengals from 2018-19 ... Browns RB Kareem Hunt played at the University of Toledo ... Browns DE Trevon Young played at the University of Louisville ... Bengals senior defensive assistant Mark Duffner coached at Ohio State University from 1975-76 ... Bengals defensive line coach Nick Eason played (2004-06) and coached ('13) for the Browns ... Bengals defensive quality control coach Jordan Kovacs is from Curtice, Ohio (Clay High School) ... Browns strength and conditioning coach Evan Marcus coached at the University of Louisville from 1998-99 ... Browns DT Andrew Billings (Reserve/Opt Out) was originally a fourth-round pick of the Bengals in 2016, and was with the team through '19.
300 x 3 = rookie record for Burrow: Earlier this season, Bengals QB Joe Burrow became the only rookie QB in NFL history to ever throw for 300 yards in three consecutive games, when he hit the mark in Game 2 at Cleveland (316), Game 3 at Philadelphia (312) and Game 4 vs. Jacksonville (300). He has since topped 300 once more — in Game 6 at Indianapolis (313) — giving him four 300-yard performances just six games into the season.
Colts QB Andrew Luck holds the NFL record for most 300-yard passing games by a rookie, with six in 2012. The Bengals' record for most 300-yard passing games in a season is five, accomplished in 2013 by Andy Dalton, '07 by Carson Palmer, and the strike-shortened 1987 season by Boomer Esiason. Dalton also holds the team record for most consecutive 300-yard passing games, with four (Games 6-9 in 2013).
Mixon picking up steam: Bengals HB Joe Mixon this season ranks seventh in the NFL in rushing yards (428) and eighth in yards from scrimmage (566). The fourth-year pro had his break-out game on Oct. 4 vs. Jacksonville, when he recorded season-highs in rushing yards (151) and yards from scrimmage (181); his yards from scrimmage total vs. Jacksonville also stands through Week 6 as the most by any AFC player so far this season. Mixon also scored a career-high three TDs against the Jaguars — on a nine-yard catch, and runs of 34 and 23 yards. That made him the first Bengal since Giovani Bernard in 2013 to record a rushing and receiving TD in the same game (9-16-13 vs. Pittsburgh).
According to NFL's Next Gen Stats, the 220-pound Mixon reached 21.19 MPH on his 34-yard TD run against the Jaguars. That counts as the fastest speed by a Cincinnati ball-carrier this season, and the fifth-fastest by a Bengal since NGS began tracking speeds in 2016.
Higgins eyeing Bengals rookie records: WR Tee Higgins' impressive start has put him on a trajectory that by season's end could land him among the top rookie pass-catchers in team history. Higgins' 22 catches through six games project out to 58 for a full 16-game slate. That total would be the third-most ever by a Bengals rookie, behind WRs Cris Collinsworth (67) and A.J. Green (65). Rounding out the current top five in that category are HB Giovani Bernard (56), WR Tyler Boyd (54) and WR Eddie Brown (53).
Higgins' 339 receiving yards so far project out to 904 over 16 games. That total would rank fourth in team history behind Green (1057), Collinsworth (1009) and Brown (942). Rounding out the top five in that category are WRs Darnay Scott (866) and Isaac Curtis (843).
Higgins could also conceivably approach the 47-year old rookie record of nine receiving TDs, set in 1973 by WR Isaac Curtis. Collinsworth and Brown (both had eight) are tied for second in that category, followed by Green (seven) and WR Chris Henry (six).