Browns-Bengals matchup of the day: Thursday

Posted Dec. 16, 2010 @ 7:56 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

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

Browns WRs Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie vs. Bengals CBs Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph

The Browns didn't target their outside receivers much in the first meeting with the Bengals. One-third of Seneca Wallace's 30 passes went to TE Benjamin Watson (six catches, 60 yards), and another seven passes went to Chansi Stuckey (five catches, 56 yards), who primarily plays the slot. By contrast, Joshua Cribbs, who started in place of the injured Robiskie, was targeted four times, catching two passes for 24 yards. Massaquoi was targeted just three times and had a mere one catch for five yards.

In the rematch, it will be interesting to see how frequently rookie Browns QB Colt McCoy, who was named the starter for the rest of the season Thursday, looks for the outside receivers, who are likely to be covered by Hall and Joseph, two of the AFC's better players at their position. Will Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer look to bring extra pass rushers against the rookie quarterback, which could set up some one-on-one matchups with the Cincinnati cornerbacks and Cleveland receivers? And will the Bengals defend Watson and Stuckey any differently this time around?

Joseph (ankle) was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. He has missed four games with the injury this season. He aggravated the injury vs. Buffalo in Week 11, a game in which he intercepted a pair of passes. Hall, who has four picks this season, is also a playmaker.