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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 TE Jermaine Gresham vs. Browns linebackers and safeties
Gresham has quickly emerged as one of QB Carson Palmer's top targets. A first-round pick from Oklahoma, Gresham has caught 13 passes for 99 yards and one touchdown. He accumulated a career-high 59 receiving yards in Cincinnati's 20-7 win at Carolina last week.
Gresham can be utilized in a variety of ways, from screens and shorter passes to longer routes down the middle of the field. He had the Bengals' longest gain from scrimmage last week, a 27-yard catch-and-run on a well-designed screen pass. Gresham blocked a defensive end, then presented himself as a target for Palmer just as the rush closed in on the quarterback.
Gresham runs very well, and he will pose a tougher and tougher matchup for defenses as he gets more experience. Sure tacking by the Browns' defense is a must to prevent short catches from turning into bigger gains — the confidence-building "splash" plays the Bengals' offense needs after not having lived up to expectations early this season.