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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:
Browns RB Peyton Hillis vs. Bengals LBs Dhani Jones, Rey Maualuga and Keith Rivers
The 6-2, 250-pound Hillis seems likely to be the Browns' featured back this week after rushing for 144 yards on 22 carries in Week Three at Baltimore. Hillis runs with power, and he has good athleticism. He catches the ball well, and if he gets to the secondary, he might take a little longer to bring down than you might expect. He had the team's two longest plays against the Ravens, breaking runs of 48 and 25 yards.
The Browns' offensive line did an exceptional job of run blocking last week. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said his defense needed to do a better job getting off Cleveland's blocks, and how the Bengals' LB corps fares in that area should be watched closely. The Bengals surrendered 118 rushing yards to New England in a Week One loss, then gave up 109 yards on the ground to the Ravens in Week Two. They tightened things up last week, holding a top-notch Carolina ground game to 87 yards.
Another aspect to watch is the Bengals' tackling against Hillis. This extends throughout the Cincinnati defense, including the secondary. On Hillis' 48-yard run against Baltimore, he broke an attempt from FS Tom Zbikowski and rumbled down the sideline.