Coming off two very good games and a bye week, the Cleveland Browns look to continue their ascension to the top of the AFC North against the Cincinnati Bengals. The weather will play a factor at Paul Brown Stadium this afternoon. Here are the keys to victory for the orange-and-brown.
Dawg Bone #1
Get Out of the Gate Early
There are no excuses for the Jason Campbell-led Browns to come out flat in this game. The Browns have had two weeks to prepare for this mini-playoff type contest. The winner of this game could predict a future AFC North division winner. A mouth punching drive to start this game will send a message real quick to the Bengals that Cleveland is for real. Whether it’s offense or defense, the Browns must set the tone early.
Dawg Bone #2
Third Down Defense must Improve
The fired up orange-and-brown defense is ranked in the top 11 in a plethora of important defensive categories. However, the Browns rank 29th in the NFL on third down conversions. Cleveland gives up an astounding 46% third conversion attempts. Through nine games, this is unacceptable. We say it every week, but the Browns defense must get off the field.
Dawg Bone #3
Find a Running Game
It is amazing that the Browns are able to do the things they’ve done on offense with virtually no running game. The Browns have just one rushing touchdown this season. The rain and wind in southern Ohio is going to be fierce today. The Browns have got to find a way to run the football. Chris Ogbonnaya is averaging 5.1 yards per carry – USE HIM! Cleveland needs to use all three of their running backs to move the football today.
Ryan Ruiz is the Cleveland Browns Beat Writer for The Inscriber: Digital Magazine. You can follow him on Facebook: Ryan (BrownsWriter) Ruiz and Twitter @ryanpruiz24. Ryan is also a Browns correspondent for The Sportsfix. Tune in every Friday at noon on www.thesportsfix.net. Have a question or comment for the “ASK Ryan” column on Fridays? Email Ryan at email@example.com