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What to Watch For, Presented by Arby's

Posted Nov 14, 2013

The Cleveland Browns return to action after their annual bye week with a trip to Cincinnati for an in-state game against the Bengals.

The Cleveland Browns return from their annual bye week with Sunday’s game against their in-state rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals, at Paul Brown Stadium.

The Browns enter the game at 4-5 and in second place in the AFC North Division after a 24-18 win over the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium two weeks ago. At 6-4 and on a two-game losing streak after a 20-17 loss to the Ravens, the Bengals remain in first place in the AFC North by 1.5 games.

When the Browns and Bengals met earlier this year, the defense shut down wide receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Brian Hoyer threw for a pair of touchdowns in Cleveland’s 17-6 victory at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Hoyer tossed a one-yard touchdown pass to running back Chris Ogbonnaya that capped off a 12-play, 91-yard drive and extended the Browns’ lead over the Bengals to 17-6 with 4:54 left to play.

Earlier in the drive, Ogbonnaya converted a third-and-one from the Browns’ 29-yard line, and tight end Jordan Cameron turned a second-and-nine at Cleveland’s 49-yard line into a first-and-10 from Cincinnati’s 24 after a 31-yard gain.

Courtesy of Hoyer’s two-yard touchdown pass to Cameron at the end of a 12-play, 95-yard drive, the Browns held a 7-0 lead over the Bengals after the first quarter.

The Browns are 38-42-0 all-time against the Bengals, but are 15-26-0 in games played at Cincinnati.

As this year’s game unfolds, there are several things to keep an eye on:

A victory would give the Browns their first three-game winning streak within the AFC North Division since the division was formed for the 2002 season. It would also give the Browns their first season sweep of the Bengals since 2002, and a .500 or better record for the fourth time since 1999.

Cameron. Cameron has caught 50 passes for 600 yards and six touchdowns, and leads the team in both receptions and scores through the first nine games of the regular season.

Cameron’s 50 receptions are tied for the fourth-most and the 600 yards are fourth-most by a Browns player through the first nine games of a season. His six touchdowns are tied for the second-most by a Browns tight end in a single season. Only Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome has more touchdowns in a single season than Cameron. Newsome accomplished the feat three times with a team-record nine touchdowns in 1979, and six each in 1981 and 1983.

Cameron’s 50 catches are the third-most in the NFL by a tight end. He is third in the NFL in receiving yards among tight ends, and fourth in tight-end scoring leaders.

Defensive back Joe Haden. Haden has defended 58 passes in 51 career games, an average of 1.14 per game since the 2010 season. That is the second-highest average of any NFL player with 50 pass breakups since the start of the 1994 season.

Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson. The eight-year veteran leads the Browns with 81 total tackles, including 49 solo stops, and a team-high 32 assists. Jackson has registered double-digit tackles in three of the Browns’ four wins this season.

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon. Despite missing the first two games of the season, Gordon leads the team with 626 yards on 35 receptions, and has gone over the 100-yard mark in three games this season, the most by a Brown since Braylon Edwards had three during the entire 2008 season.

After catching 10 passes for 146 yards and one touchdown in his season debut against the Minnesota Vikings, Gordon again reached the 100-yard plateau with 126 yards on seven catches in a loss to the Detroit Lions on Oct. 13. He accounted for a game-high 132 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown, on five receptions against the Kansas City Chiefs.

With a 100-yard game against the Bengals, Gordon would be the first Brown since Edwards in 2007 to reach the plateau four times in a season.

Cleveland quarterback Jason Campbell. Campbell recently surpassed the 15,000-yard mark for his career during the Browns’ 24-18 win over the Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium two weeks ago.

With a solid performance against the Bengals, Campbell could become the first Browns quarterback to register a 100-plus rating in three consecutive starts since Browns Legend Bernie Kosar achieved the milestone in 1989.

Browns Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas. Thomas has started each of the 105 games and taken 6,444 consecutive snaps since being selected by the Browns with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Thomas is tied for the third-longest streak of consecutive starts among active NFL offensive linemen.

Cleveland center Alex Mack. Since joining the Browns as a first-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Mack has started 73 straight games, and begun 4,519 consecutive plays for the team.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. Dalton has completed 239 of 383 attempts (62.4 percent) for 2,861 yards and 18 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. Against the Browns, Dalton has completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 1,256 yards and eight touchdowns with five interceptions.

Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green. Green has turned 65 of Dalton’s passes into 1,013 yards and six touchdowns through 10 games this season. In five career games against the Browns, Green has turned 25 catches into 395 yards and four touchdowns.

Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict. An undrafted free agent signee of the Bengals last season, Burfict leads the team with 128 total tackles, including 84 solo stops and 44 assists. He has one sack for a 10-yard loss and returned his lone interception 12 yards.

Burfict has also defended six passes and recovered one fumble this season.

The Browns finish off their three-game stretch against AFC North Division competition next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Bengals are on the bye week next Sunday, and return to action at Qualcomm Stadium against the San Diego Chargers on Dec. 1.

CONNECTIONS

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski is a native of Toledo, Ohio, and graduate of St. John’s Jesuit High School.

Cleveland defensive coordinator Ray Horton was a second-round pick of the Bengals in the 1983 NFL Draft. He played in 147 games, started 99 and appeared in Super Bowl XXIII with the Bengals. He later served as Cincinnati’s defensive backs coach (1997-2000) and safeties coach (2001).

Defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi was a defensive assistant for the Bengals from 1997-2002, and later served as their assistant defensive backs coach from 2003-2010.

Browns offensive line coach George Warhop began his coaching career as a student-assistant coach at the University of Cincinnati in 1983.

Browns offensive lineman Reid Fragel spent part of the 2013 season on the Bengals’ practice squad after being a seventh-round selection for Cincinnati in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Browns offensive lineman John Greco (Youngstown/Boardman H.S.), Hoyer (North Olmsted/St. Ignatius H.S.), and defensive linemen John Hughes (Gahanna/Lincoln H.S.) and Ishmaa’ily Kitchen (Youngstown/Cardinal Mooney H.S.) are Ohio natives.

Fragel (The Ohio State University), Hughes (the University of Cincinnati), and Kitchen (Kent State University) played college football in Ohio.

Bengals tight end Alex Smith spent the last three seasons with the Browns, where he caught 28 passes for 184 yards and one touchdown in 29 games as a tight end and fullback.

Cincinnati halfback Cedric Peerman spent part of the 2009 season on the Browns’ active roster and practice squad.

Quarterback Josh Johnson spent the final week of the 2012 season with the Browns.

Bengals defensive tackle Larry Black (Cincinnati/Wyoming High School), linebackers James Harrison (Akron/Coventry H.S.) and J.K. Schaffer (Cincinnati/LaSalle H.S.), punter Kevin Huber (Cincinnati/Archbishop McNicholas H.S.), kicker Mike Nugent (Centerville), and wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher (Toledo/Central Catholic H.S.) are Ohio natives.

Harrison (Kent State), wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (University of Toledo), Huber (Cincinnati), Nugent (Ohio State), and Sanzenbacher (Ohio State) played college football in Ohio.

Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is a native of Tiffin, Ohio.

Cincinnati’s assistant linebackers/quality control coach, David Lippincott, is a native of Cincinnati. After graduating from Archbishop Moeller High School, he went to the University of Dayton. Lippincott’s coaching career began as an assistant at Bluffton College from 2000-02.

Chip Morton, the Bengals’ strength-and-conditioning coach, served as Ohio State’s assistant strength-and-conditioning coach from 1985-86.

Bengals quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese served as the passing-game coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Miami (Ohio) University from 1996-97.

Bengals assistant special teams/quality control coach Brayden Coombs is a native of Cincinnati. After graduating from Colerain High School, he played collegiately at Miami (Ohio).

MEDIA

Fans can watch Sunday’s game at 1 p.m./ET on local CBS affiliate, WOIO-TV 19 as Marv Albert (play-by-play) and former NFL MVP quarterback Rich Gannon (color analyst) call the action.

The game is also available along the PNC Bank Cleveland Browns Radio Network with Jim Donovan, former Browns left tackle Doug Dieken, and Jamir Howerton on the call.

“What to Watch For” is Brought to you by Arby’s. Try the new Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich today. Tender brisket, smoked at least 13 hours and ready when you are. Arby’s. Slicing up Freshness.