The Cleveland Browns host the Cincinnati Bengals in their first AFC North Division home game of the 2010 season. The Browns will be looking for their first divisional win of the year, while the Bengals are focused on staying undefeated in the AFC North.
The Browns are 35-38-0 all-time against the Bengals, but hold a 21-15-0 record in home games against their intrastate rivals. The Bengals have won the last three meetings overall and two of the last three games in Cleveland. The Browns’ last win over the Bengals was on September 28, 2008. Their last win in Cleveland, a 51-45 victory, came on September 16, 2007.
In the last meeting, a 16-7 Bengals win in Cincinnati, quarterback Carson Palmer completed 13-of-24 passes for 110 yards and one touchdown. Then-Bengals running back Larry Johnson gained 107 yards rushing on 22 carries.
The Bengals were 8-of-17 on third down conversation and the Browns were out-gained 306-to-169 in total yards.
As the game unfolds, here are several things to keep an eye on:
Pink Influence. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Browns have identified Sunday’s game as their day to raise awareness for the cause. In conjunction with the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives” program, the Browns will have Zeta Tau Alpha sorority members distribute THINK PINK ribbons to everyone in attendance. A breast cancer survivor will participate in the coin toss.
Pink ribbon field stencils will be painted at each end of the field and the goal post pads will also be pink. Game officials will wear pink caps, wristbands, whistles and pins, while coaches, sideline personnel, as well as team executives will sport pink sideline hats.
Select players will also use pink cleats, gloves, wristbands, sideline caps, helmet decals, captains’ patches, chin straps, sideline towels and eye shield decals.
He also broke a career-long 48-yard run in the second quarter and was just the fourth running back to rush for more than 100 yards against the Ravens in their last 54 games.
With a rushing touchdown Sunday, Hillis would become the team’s first running back to have a rushing score in four straight games since Greg Pruitt scored in five consecutive games in 1975.
Two-time Pro Bowl kick returner
Cribbs is averaging 26.6 yards-per-kickoff return in 10 games against the Bengals, including an 85-yard return on November 16, 2007. He has nine carries for 62 yards and six receptions for 35 yards against Cincinnati.
Dawson, third on the Browns’ all-time scoring list, needs just 25 more points to reach 1,000 for his career.
He has played 20 career games against the Ravens and is 25-of-28 on field goal attempts, as well as 42-of-43 on extra point kicks.
Benard would join Anthony Pleasant (1995) and Reggie Camp (1984) as the only Browns players ever to reach that mark.
He registered a game-high 1.5 sacks of Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman and had one against Chiefs signal-caller Matt Cassel before missing the Ravens game due to injury.
Despite playing in only six games as a rookie in 2009, Benard led all first-year Browns with 3.5 sacks.
The Browns have allowed just three sacks this season.
Palmer. He is 210-of-337 for 2,255 yards and 23 touchdowns against 14 interceptions in ten career starts versus the Browns. Palmer, 8-2 in those starts, threw a Bengals record six touchdowns against the Browns in 2007.
Palmer is 69-of-122 for 707 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions in 2010.
Running back Cedric Benson. In two career games against the Browns, Benson has 245 yards on 56 carries. He gained a career-high 171 yards on 38 carries in the 2008 meeting in Cleveland.
Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. During his time with the Bengals, Ochocinco has 82 catches for 1,133 yards and 11 touchdowns. He collected two touchdown receptions against the Browns last year and his 11 scores are the most against any one team in the league.
The Browns (0-3) go into the game looking for their first win after a 24-17 loss at the Ravens last Sunday. The Bengals are 2-1 after a 20-7 win over the Carolina Panthers last weekend.
Browns left guard
Bengals safety Chris Crocker was a third round draft pick of the Browns in 2003 and played in Cleveland for three seasons. Crocker started 22 of 44 career games with the Browns and had a career high 81 total tackles, along with a pair of interceptions, in 2005.
Cincinnati running back Cedric Peerman was on the Browns’ active roster and practice squad in 2009.
Bengals kicker Mike Nugent (Centerville) played college football at The Ohio State University, while defensive back Chinedum Ndukwe (Powell) is a product of Dublin Coffman High School. Punter Kevin Huber (Cincinnati/McNicholas High School/University of Cincinnati) is also an Ohio native.
Bengals wide receivers coach Mike Sheppard spent the 1996 season with Eric Mangini, as both men were assistants with the Ravens. They also coached with the Browns in 1995. Sheppard spent two seasons (1999-2000) as the Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach under Browns President Mike Holmgren and one as the tight ends coach (1993) with the Browns.
Fans can watch Sunday's game at 1:00pm ET on local CBS affiliate WOIO-TV 19. Bill Macatee (play-by-play) and Rich Gannon (color analyst) will provide the coverage.
The game is also available along the Browns Radio Network with Jim Donovan, Doug Dieken and Jamir Howerton on the call. The Countdown to Kickoff pregame show hosted by Mike Snyder and Mike Pagel begins at 11:30am. The Browns Radio Network’s flagship station is 100.7 FM/WMMS.
Westwood One Radio sports will be broadcasting the game nationally. Kevin Kugler (play-by-play) and Mark Malone (color analyst) are set to call the action.