1. The Browns’ run defense needs to contain Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who managed to gain 91 yards on 18 carries and had two key fourth-down conversions (one for a touchdown), against the Ravens on Monday night despite the Bengals getting blown out 44-13.
2. Browns safety T.J. Ward needs to limit the touches and big gains of Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham, who had his way with Ward in last season’s games.
3. The Browns’ defense needs to go after Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton with the same aggressiveness that it used against Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who threw four interceptions. It’s always important to get pressure on the quarterback, but it’s even more crucial this week without top cornerback Joe Haden available to cover receiver A.J. Green.
4. Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden must cut down on turnovers. Last week against the Eagles, he continued his preseason turnover issues by throwing four interceptions and fumbling twice (although the Browns recovered both).
5. The Browns’ offensive line not only needs to protect the turnover-prone Weeden better, but also block much better for rookie running back Trent Richardson. Last week in his NFL debut, Richardson managed 39 yards on 19 carries for only 2.1 yards per carry.