Battle Of Ohio, What's At Stake?

gary wertmanCorrespondent INovember 26, 2009

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 22: Brady Quinn #10 of the Cleveland Browns looks to pass the football to Michael Gaines #86 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on November 22, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The play resulted in a touchdown to put the Browns ahead. The Lions came from behind to defeat the Browns 38-37. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images


The 1-9 Cleveland Browns travel south to take on the 7-3 Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday in a game that has a lot riding on it. On paper, this looks like a huge mismatch.

The Bengals have a one game lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the division but are coming off a disappointing loss at Oakland. A loss to Cleveland would be devastating to a team that’s starting to believe in themselves. After going 4-11-1 last year, Cincinnati’s turn around has been remarkable, but back to back losses could let some doubts creep in.

Cleveland already has plenty of doubts. Will Mangini be fired, can Quinn be the QB they’re looking for, is the offense really improving, what player’s jobs are safe. After last weeks heart breaking loss to Detroit, the Browns have to wonder if they can beat anyone. A win over the Bengals would give the Browns a huge shot of confidence.

A point in Cleveland’s favor, and Mangini’s, is that the Browns players haven’t quit. That fact alone makes Cleveland a dangerous team and says something for Mangini. The Browns have coaches and several players with a lot on the line. Their jobs.

Brady Quinn gave Cleveland’s offense a much needed confidence boost against the Lions with his play last week. Can he do it again? The Bengals defense is much better.  Will Cleveland’s defense show up? They finally got some help from the offense and they broke down against Detroit.

Cleveland will have plenty of decisions to make after the season is over and this game could provide some important answers. Cincinnati’s season should extend into the playoffs  but a win over the Browns is almost a must.


Article originally posted on