The battle of Ohio comes early this year as the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals face off this Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. It's a game that both teams enter after coming out flat in their season openers, with Cincinnati getting embarrassed on the road to an extremely talented Baltimore Ravens squad, while the Browns lost in the dying moments of a game to Philadelphia, in a contest that saw Michael Vick throw four interceptions.
The biggest question for Cleveland entering the game is the status of rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden. His debut, for lack of a better term, was abysmal, as he threw four interceptions, fumbled the ball once and completed less than 40 percent of his passes on his way to a near-comical 5.1 quarterback rating. Despite this, offensive coordinator Brad Childress has faith in his young signal caller, and the Browns have been attempting to work on Weeden's footwork and mechanics throughout the week in an effort to stop his passes from sailing, an issue he had against the Eagles.
Luckily, RB Trent Richardson returned to full participation this week, as he looks to finally be over the knee injury he battled during preseason.
Meanwhile in Cincinnati, the Bengals are looking to make a statement following their 44-13 loss. It wasn't so much that they were outmatched, it was how uncharacteristically unprepared they looked against the Ravens. The defense allowed 430 yards of offense despite getting decent pressure on Joe Flacco, sacking him three times. This is a statement game for the Bengals who can't afford to lose a second straight game in the AFC North if they hope to keep their playoff aspirations alive; thankfully, the Browns don't pose nearly the test than the vaunted Ravens did.
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT, Sunday Sept. 16
Location: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
For more on the Browns, be sure to visit Dawgs By Nature. Additional coverage on the Bengals can be found at Cincy Jungle, while SB Nation's NFL hub is the place to go for all of your pro football needs.