1. The Browns need to keep track of Adam “Pacman” Jones. They cannot afford a breakdown on special teams like the one in Week 2 that allowed Jones to return a punt 81 yards for a touchdown — providing the margin of victory for the Bengals. Jones is second among active players with five career punt returns for touchdowns and averages one every 19.6 returns.
2. The Browns’ offensive line did not allow a sack last week against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants and will need to remain staunch against the Bengals’ defensive front. The Bengals are tied for the NFL lead with 18 sacks, 14 in the past three games. At that rate, the Bengals would finish the season with 58 sacks. The team record is 48, set in 2001.
3. The Browns have more to worry about than A.J. Green when it comes to covering the Bengals’ receivers. Buster Skrine will have his hands full with slot receiver Andrew Hawkins. With so much attention being paid to Green, Hawkins has averaged 11 yards after the catch. It was Hawkins who burned Trevin Wade for a 50-yard touchdown in the first game between the teams.
4. The Browns need to continue to be opportunistic on defense. Seven of their 10 takeaways have been interceptions, so the Browns will attempt to harass Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. Dalton threw a crucial interception in a 17-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins that led to Reggie Bush’s game-winning touchdown.
5. Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden admitted last week that his ego is what’s been keeping him from throwing a pass out of bounds when his receivers aren’t open instead of making the ill-advised throws that have led to nine interceptions. The next step is to put his words into practice and exercise more caution on a regular basis.