Upon further review, Sunday's Bengals win in Pittsburgh was heartening and rewarding for Cincinnati, although it's quickly in the rear-view mirror, with the next game coming up fast on Thursday at home against Cleveland.
Battle of Ohio I kicks off at 8:25 p.m. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said his squad will be ready to roll on short rest.
“It’s obviously a quick turnaround," the coach said. "We have a good opportunity to reiterate some things, and make sure we make the correct revisions, and move forward in a positive way. With the corrections from yesterday, we will move on to the Browns very quickly.
Lewis, predictably, said to throw out team records. The Bengals are 7-0 and in first place in the AFC North Division race. The Browns are 2-5
“Cleveland comes in here, obviously not having the start to their season that they wanted, but there is a lot of football left," said Lewis. "We have to be ready to play great football. They’ve done a good job of moving the ball on offense, particularly by the pass. They have a couple backs that have done a good job, and their quarterback is doing a nice job throwing the football. We have to play well. Offensively, we will get a handful of pressures and so forth. So, we have to handle that as well.”
What’s the biggest key in preparing for a short week?
“We have to let go of last week, quickly. We have to let it go, erase the cards, and move forward," said Lewis. "Put it behind, and move forward mentally and physically. We have to get their bodies right. Hopefully we made steps towards with that last evening, and early this morning. We need to get our minds and spirits back.
“They’ll be back and ready. This team whipped our tails last year. So, we will be ready. We will have 46 able guys ready to play football Thursday.”
Cleveland coach Mike Pettine indicated earlier in the week that injured quarterback Josh McCown is day to day, but the Browns said Tuesday that Johnny Manziel will start at QB. Lewis said that won't change how the Bengals prepare for the game.
“No, I don’t think it does. We have to prepare for the Browns offense," Lewis said. "If Johnny Manziel is the quarterback, we played him last year. We’ve seen he’s had some opportunity this year in the regular season. Our guys will be aware of that, and we have to adjust on the fly.”
Lewis said that quarterback Andy Dalton took an inordinate amount of blame for last year's loss to Cleveland.
“I don’t know how much of it was Andy, and how much of it was our football team struggling in general," said the coach. "The quarterback always get the blame. We struggled and didn’t play very well. After that, we righted our course.
"This is a big football game. It’s a division game, it’s at home, and our people will be loud. It’s a very important game for us. Right now, we have two wins in the division, this would be our third win, and we will be half way through the division and holding serve.”
Lewis was asked if it helps that it’s a division game, since he only has three days to prepare for a Thursday game. Lewis said, “as coaches, we spent time on them a week ago during the bye week. We’ve basically formulated our first- and second-down plan. We took a look at them, and did the things we need to do to study. We spent time on them before we spent time on Pittsburgh, so we would be ready to go.”