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What To Watch For, Presented by Arby's

Posted Oct 10, 2012

The Browns conclude their regular-season series with the Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Unlike the 2011 regular season in which the Cleveland Browns did not play their second game against an AFC North Division team until late November, they will play their third on Sunday afternoon when they wrap up the season series against the Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

The Browns and Bengals met earlier this year at Paul Brown Stadium.

The Browns are 36-42-0 all-time against the Bengals, dating back to the first meeting between the teams, a 30-27, Cleveland home win on Oct. 11, 1970. The Browns are 22-16-0 at home and 14-26-0 in road games against the Bengals.

Since the 1999 season, the Browns are 2-4 in Oct. games against the Bengals and 2-3 at home during those meetings.

The Browns dropped the September meeting with the Bengals, 34-27, in Cincinnati, despite improved performances from the rookie tandem of running back Trent Richardson and quarterback Brandon Weeden.

The Bengals held the ball for 32:53 in the win, but the Browns outgained them 439 to 375 in total yards.

As the game unfolds, here are several things to keep an eye on:

Running back Trent Richardson. In five games this season, Richardson has rushed for 303 yards and caught a team-best 20 passes for 169 yards. He leads the league with the most points scored (30) by a rookie in the NFL.

Richardson’s 472 yards of total offense rank second behind Morris (507) and his 303 yards rushing are second in the league among first-year players. He is second in the NFL in receptions by a rookie and second in the league with 18 first downs.

Richardson is second among all NFL players (non-kickers) in scoring. Only Houston running back Arian Foster has scored more touchdowns -- six for 36 points -- than Richardson.

With a rushing touchdown Sunday, Richardson would be the first Browns player since Peyton Hillis in 2010 -- and the only rookie in team history -- to score in five consecutive games. A 100-yard rushing game on Sunday would join Richardson with William Green, Kevin Mack, Earnest Byner and Preston Carpenter, as well as Pro Football Hall of Famers, Bobby Mitchell and Jim Brown, as the only Browns rookies to rush for 100 or more yards in a game multiple times.

Richardson rushed for a career-high 109 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries against the Bengals in September. He also caught four passes for 36 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown.

Quarterback Brandon Weeden. Weeden enters Sunday’s game on the heels of completing 22 of 35 attempts for 291 yards with two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions against the New York Giants last weekend.

On the season, Weeden has completed 112 of 202 attempts for 1,288 yards with five touchdowns and nine interceptions. He threw for a Browns rookie record of 322 yards and two touchdowns in Cincinnati two weeks ago.

With a 300-yard game against the Giants, Weeden would join Anderson, Bernie Kosar, Brian Sipe and Pro Football Hall of Famer, the late Otto Graham, as the only quarterbacks in team history to throw for 300 or more yards at least three times in a single season. Anderson (three in 2007) and Graham (three in 1950) each accomplished the feat once, while Kosar (three each in 1986 and 1987) reached the mark twice. Sipe tossed four 300-yard games each in 1979 and 1983 and six in 1980.

Kicker Phil Dawson. The 14-year veteran kicker passed a former Pro Bowl left tackle and Browns Legend, Doug Dieken, for third on the team’s games played list last Sunday. Dieken, the Browns’ current radio analyst, lined up in 203 games.

Dawson made two field goals against the Giants last Sunday and is now 10-for-10 on field goal attempts this season. He is seven-of-seven from 40 or more yards, including a four-for-four mark from 50-plus. Since the start of the 2011 season, Dawson has made a league-best 11-of-12 field goals from 50 or more yards.

Dawson has converted 286 of 342 career field goal attempts with the Browns. His 83.6 field goal percentage is first all-time in team history and the ninth-best total among those kickers with at least 100 career field goals. He has scored 1,195 points in his time with the Browns and could become only the second player ever to score 1,200 points in a Browns uniform.

Dawson is 34-of-38 on field goal attempts and 53-of-54 on extra-point tries in 25 games against the Bengals.

Wide receiver Joshua Cribbs. The two-time Pro Bowler has 9,399 kickoff return yards, which stands sixth on the NFL’s all-time list. He is 389 yards shy of passing Glyn Milburn (9,788) for fifth on the all-time list.

Cribbs’ 11,252 combined kickoff and punt return yards rank sixth on the NFL’s career list. After passing Cleveland native Desmond Howard earlier in the year, Cribbs now trails former Kansas City Chiefs returner Dante Hall by 1,145 yards.

He has returned an NFL record eight kickoffs for touchdowns and added three more scores on punt returns. The combined 11 touchdowns are fifth all-time and with one more, Cribbs would equal Hall and Metcalf for third place. Cribbs is also 296 yards away from Dennis Northcutt's mark for the most punt return yards (2,149) in franchise history.

In 15 games against Cincinnati, Cribbs has returned 55 kickoffs for 1,384 yards and 25 punts for 265 yards. In eight of those games, Cribbs has gained 100 or more kickoff return yards, including a four-game streak over the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

Wide receiver Josh Gordon. Gordon caught two passes against the Giants and both went for touchdowns. With his play in New Jersey, Gordon jumped into a first-place tie with five other players for the most touchdown catches by a rookie. Gordon’s two-touchdown game was the seventh time a Browns rookie caught two touchdowns in the same game.

Gordon could become the first Browns player to catch two or more touchdowns in consecutive games since Braylon Edwards in 2007.

Browns offensive linemen Joe Thomas and Alex Mack. Thomas has started and did not miss a snap in each of his first 85 games since the Browns selected him in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Mack has started each of the 53 games during his four-year NFL career.

Thomas, Mack, Weeden, left guard Jason Pinkston, right guard Shawn Lauvao and right tackle Mitchell Schwartz have played every snap this season.

Defensive back Sheldon Brown. The 11-year NFL veteran has played in 165 consecutive regular-season games, which ranks him fifth among all active defensive players. He has caught at least one interception in each of his 10 previous NFL seasons.

Brown has collected 23 career interceptions and has the fifth-longest active streak of consecutive seasons with an interception. Green Bay’s Charles Woodson (15 seasons), Denver’s Champ Bailey (13), Nate Clements of Cincinnati (11) and Baltimore’s Ed Reed (11) rank ahead of Brown.

Pink Presence. The National Football League and NFL Players Association will again support the American Cancer Society’s efforts to encourage breast cancer screening and fundraising campaign to raise money in the fight against breast cancer.

With October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Browns will have several events going on throughout Sunday’s game against the Bengals. The local alumni and college chapters of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority will again hand out free Think Pink! ribbons to fans entering the stadium. Breast cancer survivors will form the gauntlet for player introductions and present the Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Ribbon Flag.

Pink Ribbon field stencils will be painted at each end of the field and the goal post pads will be pink. On-field and game-used equipment from coaches and players will be available at NFL.com/Auction to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green. Green leads the Bengals with 36 catches for 492 yards and four touchdowns. Three of his touchdown catches have come on passes from quarterback Andy Dalton and the fourth was a 73-yard reception from wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.

Green has 11 catches for 209 yards with two touchdowns in three games against Cleveland.

Dalton. The second-year quarterback has completed 111-of-169 attempts for 1,345 yards and nine touchdowns against six interceptions. He has been sacked an average of three times per game for a combined loss of 83 yards.

In three games against the Browns, Dalton has completed 55-of-77 attempts for 669 yards and five touchdowns against one interception. He holds a 114.0 quarterback rating against the Browns.

Bengals kick returner Brandon Tate. Tate returned seven punts an average of 9.7 yards, with his long return going for 19. He also ran back ten kickoffs for a total of 230 yards. His longest kickoff return went for 34 yards.

The Browns come into Sunday’s game after a 41-27 loss to the Giants last weekend at MetLife Stadium. The Bengals enter the game at 3-2 after a 17-13 loss against the Miami Dolphins at Paul Brown Stadium.

CONNECTIONS

Browns defensive end Frostee Rucker was drafted by the Bengals and spent the first six years of his NFL career in Cincinnati. He made 147 total tackles and registered seven sacks in his Bengals career.

Browns defensive tackle John Hughes (Gahanna) and offensive lineman John Greco (Youngstown/Boardman High School) are Ohio natives.

Hughes (University of Cincinnati) and Greco (University of Toledo) went to college in Ohio.

Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron spent four seasons with the Bengals from 1978-81 after he was drafted and played for five years with the Detroit Lions.

Bengals safety Chris Crocker (2003-05), quarterback Bruce Gradkowski (2008), center Jeff Faine (2003-05) and running back Cedric Peerman (2009) played with the Browns. Faine was a first-round pick of the Browns out of the University of Notre Dame and Crocker was a third-round selection, both in the 2003 NFL Draft.

Cincinnati wide receiver Armon Binns (Cincinnati/Archbishop Moeller High School), defensive back Nate Clements (Shaker Heights), practice squad running back Dan Herron (Warren/Harding), Kevin Huber (Cincinnati/Archbishop McNicholas), and Mike Nugent (Kettering/Centerville) are Ohio natives.

Binns (Cincinnati), Clements (Ohio State), Gradkowski (Toledo), wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (Toledo), Herron (Ohio State), Huber (Cincinnati) and Nugent (Ohio State) went to college in Ohio.

MEDIA

Fans can watch Sunday’s game at 1 p.m. ET on local CBS affiliate WOIO-TV 19. Kevin Harlan will provide the play-by-play, while Solomon Wilcots (color analysis) will also be on the call.

The game will air nationally on Sports USA Radio Network with Bob Fitzgerald and Ross Tucker on the call.

The game is also available along the PNC Bank Browns Radio Network with Jim Donovan (play-by-play), Doug Dieken (color) and Jamir Howerton (sideline reporter) on the call.

What to Watch For is brought to you by Arby’s -- Arby’s Value Menu starting at one dollar will have you coming back for more without emptying your wallet.