PFF Preview: Browns @ Bengals, Week 10
This week’s Thursday Night Football matchup features the in-state rivalry between the Cleveland Browns (5-3) and the Cincinnati Bengals (5-2-1) at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. Both teams come into this game on two-game win streaks.
A marquee matchup in this game will be between Browns cornerback Joe Haden, and Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green. These two have been battling since Green came into the league in 2011 with each side getting the better of the other at some point. In their most frequent meeting in 2013, Haden got the best of Green getting an interception on one of Green’s two targets while Haden was covering him. Green caught the other target for a 3-yard pickup. They were the only two passes thrown in Haden’s direction, which led to a quarterback rating of 16.7 for Andy Dalton when throwing Haden’s way.
Earlier in 2013, Green was targeted much more frequently, which resulted in more success for him. Green was targeted 10 times with Haden covering him, which resulted in five catches for 41 yards. Green accumulated only 6 yards after catch, though, and Haden was credited with two passes defensed. The last time Green was able to exceed 100 yards receiving while being covered by Haden was 2011 when he caught three of four targets for 110 yards.
Winning this matchup will be a key to success for both sides. Here are some other players to keep an eye on in this game.
Andrew Whitworth – The Bengals’ left tackle is currently ranked first in the league in Pass Blocking Efficiency allowing pressure on just three of his 266 pass-blocking snaps.
Jeremy Hill – Jeremy Hill broke out in his first NFL start rushing for 154 yards. A total of 75 yards came on two runs of over 15 yards each giving him the second highest Breakaway Percentage of any running back in Week 9.
George Iloka – Iloka has been an important aspect of the Bengals’ secondary holding opposing quarterbacks to a passer rating of 26.0 when throwing to his coverage area. He ranks third in the league for safeties in that category.
Joe Thomas – Thomas is currently rated as the best offensive tackle overall (+22.7), in pass blocking (+13.0), and run blocking (+8.6).
Tashaun Gipson – The Browns’ safety has been the league’s third-best safety in coverage (+8.2), and he currently leads the league in interceptions with six.
Karlos Dansby – The leader of the Browns’ defense currently tops the team in tackles, assists, and stops. He is also rated as the best inside linebacker in coverage in the league (+7.0).