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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
Here's a closer look at a matchup to watch in Sunday's Bengals-Browns game:
Bengals receivers vs. Browns secondary
The Browns are allowing 199.0 yards per game through the air and have a deeper, more talented secondary than a season ago. However, one of their key defensive backs, CB Eric Wright, had an awful game against Baltimore, surrendering three TDs to Ravens WR Anquan Boldin.
Wright will keep his starting job, and no other personnel changes are expected in the Cleveland secondary, which, provided Wright rebounds from his poor performance, should be able to hold its own against the Bengals' WR corps. The Browns' other starting corner, Sheldon Brown, has played well in his first season in Cleveland. His physicality is an asset.
Browns rookie S T.J. Ward had a nice pass breakup on a potential TD pass to Boldin last week and continues to get better. His coverage skills are likely to continue to improve as he gets experience.
The big concern with the Bengals' passing game at present is the play of QB Carson Palmer, who's completed just 35-of-72 passes in his last two starts and threw two interceptions in a shaky outing vs. Carolina last week.
Chad Ochocinco (20 catches, 237 yards, one TD) remains the Bengals' top target. Terrell Owens (14 catches, 152 yards, no TDs) has just two catches of 20 yards or more but still has the speed to get deep. Rookie receiver Jordan Shipley (13 catches, 161 yards, no TDs) has shown promise as a short and intermediate target.
Pass-rush pressure would aid the Cleveland secondary's cause and would likely hurt the Bengals' attempts to find their rhythm in the passing game. The Browns had no sacks vs. Baltimore.