CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Browns host the Bengals on Sunday. Cincinnati comes into the game at 6-8. The Browns are coming off of a Saturday night win in Denver and are 6-7-1.
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Here’s what you need to know to watch, listen to or stream the game.
Time: 1 p.m. EST
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio.
TV: CBS, Ch. 19.
• Play-by-play: Spero Dedes; Analyst: Adam Archuleta.
Local Radio: 92.3 The Fan (WKRK), ESPN 850 WKNR and WNCX (98.5).
• Play-by-play: Jim Donovan; Analyst: Doug Dieken; Sideline: Nathan Zegura.
Spanish Radio: La Mega 87.7 FM.
• Play-by-play: Rafael “Rafa” Hernandez-Brito; Analyst: Octavio Sequera.
Streaming: fuboTV (free trial)
ABOUT GREG ROBINSON & BRESHAD PERRIMAN
Browns General Manager John Dorsey has been intrigued with Greg Robinson for years, dating back to the 2014 NFL draft.
The tackle from Auburn was the No. 2 selection by the Rams. He played three years for them and was considered a major disappointment. He was traded to Detroit in 2017, started six games and then was injured for the rest of the year.
Robinson became a free agent in June. Some of his previous coaches whispered he wasn’t a hard worker, he wasn’t tough enough, etc.
The Browns thought, “We need a left tackle to replace Joe Thomas. This guy was the No. 2 pick in the draft. He doesn’t cost us much of anything.”
They brought Robinson to town. He went to dinner with Dorsey and met some others with the Browns.
That dinner lasted six hours. The Browns had heard Robinson was a quiet, small-town guy from Thibodaux, Louisiana. The Browns spent time getting to know him.
It soon became apparent Robinson’s confidence was shaky. Screaming at him was not going to work. He also felt weighed down by the expectations of being the No. 2 pick in the draft and failing to be an impact player.
The Browns’ goal was to make Robinson feel comfortable. They thought the offensive line with veterans Joel Bitonio, JC Tretter, Kevin Zeitler and Chris Hubbard could create the right climate for Robinson to rebuild his career.
It was a slow process. Robinson suffered a concussion early in training camp. The coaching staff was more interested in looking at Shon Coleman, then Bitonio and then Desmond Harrison at left tackle.
Harrison started the first eight games. He was injured, and Robinson took over the same time Freddie Kitchens moved up to offensive coordinator.
The Browns went from Mayfield being sacked 20 times in his first six games to only five times in his last six. Robinson is an important part of that improvement. He has played well enough the Browns don’t have to draft a tackle in the upper rounds.
The front office took a similar view with Breshad Perriman, the former 2015 first round pick by Baltimore.
He had a rocky three seasons with the Ravens – dropped passes, injuries, confidence sagging.
The Browns picked him up after he was cut by Baltimore and then Washington. Dorsey confided to friends that Perriman’s workout was one of the best he’d seen in years. They quickly signed him.
They slowly worked him into action, much as they did Robinson. Now, Perriman is making some big plays as a part-time receiver.
Neither player has to live up to the expectations of being a first-round pick. Instead, they are on a new team in a comfort zone to find where they fit in the NFL
ABOUT THE QUARTERBACKS
The new front office thought it was a major mistake for the Browns to have a 2017 quarterback room of Cody Kessler, DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan. None of them had won an NFL game.
For months before the draft, Dorsey knew he was drafting Baker Mayfield. He also knew it was unwise to expect a rookie to start Day 1 for a team that was 1-31 in the previous two seasons.
Even before the draft, the Browns traded for veteran Tyrod Taylor and signed veteran Drew Stanton. Taylor was good enough to open the season as a starter. Mayfield would have to earn the job,
The rookie from Oklahoma also was surrounded by two no-nonsense veterans who set examples when it came to work ethic and leadership.
Yes, coaches matter. Interim head coach Gregg Williams and new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens brought stability, accountability and even some simplicity to how things were done.
But culture often is dictated by the players.
Taylor and Stanton helped keep Mayfield steady when chaos shook the staff – the “internal discord” between former head coach Hue Jackson and ex-offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
Both men were fired and Mayfield quickly adapted to the new leadership.
ABOUT THE RECEIVERS
The Browns believe they have a strong presence in receivers coach Adam Henry.
But when Josh Gordon continued to have personal problems early in the season, the front office didn’t want him around. That led to the trade to New England for a first-round pick after the first game of the season.
The Browns knew they needed rookie Antonio Callaway to be influenced in the right way. Callaway was suspended all of 2017 while at Florida.
The Browns signed veteran Jarvis Landry not only because he was a productive receiver with Miami (400 receptions in four years), but because Landry is durable. He’s never missed a game in five seasons, and rarely misses practice.
Rashard Higgins is a solid citizen. Now they have added Perriman into the room. Callaway is showing flashes of being an impact receiver as the season progresses.
ABOUT THE DEFENSIVE BACKS
The new front office had an idea it would draft cornerback Denzel Ward. They surrounded the rookie with veterans Terrance Mitchell, TJ Carrie, EJ Gaines and Damarious Randall.
The idea being Mitchell, Carrie and Gaines are known as solid pros, good guys who had to battle to make the NFL. Carrie and Mitchell were seventh round picks, Gaines was a sixth-rounder.
Meanwhile, the fiery Randall could take over at free safety, something the Browns desperately needed.
The Browns thought that trio could have a positive impact on second-year pro Jabrill Peppers and Ward.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Today, the Cleveland Browns (6-7-1) host their in-state and division rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals (6-8). The Browns, with a win, still have a slim chance at making the playoffs as a Wild Card.
The last time the two teams met, Cleveland won 35-20. Quarterback Baker Mayfield threw four TDs while Cincinnati’s QB, Andy Dalton, left the game with an injured thumb. Jeff Driskel replaced Dalton and is still quarterbacking the Bengals.
As a result, the Browns have a chance to sweep the season series with the Bengals. The last time that happened George W. Bush was president. The year was 2002.
The Bengals have owned the Browns, going 11-4 against them, since Andy Dalton entered the league in 2011. Slowly but surely though, the balance of power in the Battle of Ohio seems to be shifting from Cincinnati to Cleveland.
The Browns are gaining on every team in the AFC North. A sweep of the Bengals would really bring that home and also gain the Browns momentum towards sweeping the Ravens the following week.