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Bengals-Browns matchup of the day: Thursday

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Posted Sept. 30, 2010 @ 12:43 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Here's a closer look at a matchup to watch in Sunday's Bengals-Browns game:

Bengals' pass protection vs. Browns' pass rush

Sacks can't completely tell the story about a team's pass rush. And by that same token, the number of sacks an offensive line allows doesn't always tell the story about a club's pass protection.

With this in mind, we present the above matchup. The Bengals have allowed just three sacks this season, but the line's protection of QB Carson Palmer hasn't been stellar. The pocket collapsed on Palmer on the second of his two interceptions last week.

The Browns have just four sacks in 2010, and they had none last week in the loss to Baltimore. Improving on that total would be nice, but getting Palmer out of his comfort zone is the real goal. Can the Browns do that by rushing just four players, or does defensive coordinator Rob Ryan have to dial up more blitzes? This is an interesting story line to watch with the Cincinnati offense under criticism and Ryan coming up with some effective pressure packages in the past.

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