CLEVELAND, Ohio — There is more than just state bragging rights on the line today when the Browns (4-5) travel down Interstate 71 to bang heads with the Bengals (6-4).
A win over Cincinnati not only would mean a season sweep over them for the first time since 2002, it would give the Browns a leg up in the race for the divisional crown and a step toward a possible post-season berth.
“It’s been a while, man,” Phil Taylor said this week in Berea. “Everybody talking about Cleveland, this, the mistake on the lake, all this other stuff, man. It’s time for a change. We’re tired of losing around here. We’ve got the talent in here to go all the way to the top. We’ve just got to get it done.”
The Browns seem to have gotten healthy during their bye week. Only utility man MarQueis Gray is listed as out for the showdown.
Jason Campbell will again get the start under center. In the last game on November 3, Campbell orchestrated the offense flawlessly. He finished 23-35 for 262 yards and three touchdowns in the 24-18 win over the Ravens.
“You saw him from a leadership standpoint,” head coach Rob Chudzinski said this week. “The calmness out there, the ability in that final drive to make plays when that was crunch time and in a critical part in the game, and just his presence with our younger guys. What he’s doing is really giving us a life.”
It was Brian Hoyer, not Jason Campbell, who guided the Browns to victory over the Bengals back in Week 4. He threw a pair of touchdowns in the win, and the defense was stifling. They harassed Andy Dalton all day and allowed just 63 rushing yards.
The Bengals are a six-point favorite.
Kick-off is set for 1 p.m. from Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
P.J. Ziegler will have a full recap and all the highlights along with post-game reaction tonight on FOX 8 News at 10. Plus, look for a full report here on FOX8.com.