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Browns-Bengals matchup of the day: Saturday

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Posted Sept. 09, 2011 @ 7:33 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

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

Bengals QB Andy Dalton vs. Cleveland's defense

In the preseason, Bengals QB Andy Dalton completed 36-of-60 passes for 328 yards with one TD and three interceptions. His accuracy left a little to be desired at times, and he averaged but 5.5 yards per attempt. The good news was Dalton was poised, and he had played well for stretches.

Now, however, the competition gets tougher. It's safe to assume he's going to see some defensive looks in action than he had only seen on tape from NFL defenses. Dalton will likely have to consistently correctly read what he's seeing and deliver the ball safely and accurately for the Bengals to mount a strong upset bid.

Let's see what Cleveland has in store for the rookie passer. Rob Ryan was known for his willingness to dial up blitzes in his two seasons in Cleveland; now he's in Dallas, looking to jump-start the Cowboys' stop unit. New Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron, asked about blitzing on Thursday, said, according to the club: "We'll blitz. We'd like to think we're going to be varied enough to keep people off balance. If people would say, 'What ideally would you like to do?' I would say, most people in the league, they would say, about 33-40 percent pressure depending on what you're doing, how good you are at it and who your people are. The better your people, the more you're going to pressure, the better the combination of people. You'd like to be varied enough to keep people off-balance."

In addition to dealing with any pressure the Browns may bring, Dalton must be careful not to telegraph his throws. The ball can come out quickly in Jay Gruden's offense. Will Browns CBs Joe Haden and Sheldon Brown jump a few short routes Sunday? 

 

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