Browns Between Bengals and AFCN Sweep

Only the lowly Browns stand between the Cincinnati Bengals and a sweep of the AFC North.

The Bengals' march through the AFC North has been perfect so far. The only team that can add a blemish to their division record is the Browns on Sunday in Cincinnati.

When the rivals met in part one of the Battle of Ohio in September, the Browns made Carson Palmer earn his yards. Palmer completed 23 of 44 passes for 230 yards. Four of Palmer's completions were 20 yards or longer, and that is the number the Browns want to reduce.

On the other hand, adding big plays to their own offense as they did against the Lions is something the Browns are determined to do in the rematch with Cincinnati. They averaged just 2.1 yards per pass play Nov. 16 in the 16-0 loss to the Ravens. They averaged 1.2 yards a pass Oct. 11 in the 6-3 victory over the Bills.

The Browns were more aggressive against the Lions. Brady Quinn threw four touchdown passes and the Browns averaged 8.8 yards a pass in the 38-37 loss.

Mike Furrey could be featured Sunday if the Browns go back to using their dink and dunk offense -- which too frequently has been a dink, dunk and punt offense. He is a safe target for Quinn.

"We have to continue executing and continue to spread the ball around and continue to run the ball," Furrey said. "People always think about going into a game to do certain things. But things change so dramatically on Sunday. You never know what the game is going to be like. We need to keep moving the ball, attack, and put points on the board for our defense.

"We're a very talented football team. We proved that (in Detroit). We have to keep that going and show some more consistency. It's almost we needed to just get one and it starts us rolling."

Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was reluctant to call deep pass plays with Quinn at quarterback until the Lions game. Quinn's longest pass play out of his first 108 attempts was a quick slant that Mohamed Massaquoi turned into a 30-yard gain against the Ravens. Against the Lions, Quinn threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Massaquoi and a 40-yard touchdown pass to Chansi Stuckey. They were the Browns' first touchdown passes to a wide receiver since Nov. 2 of last year.

"We have them in the game plan every week," Daboll said. "What you're trying to do every week is create vertical lanes and horizontal lanes. We'll call them, and if they give them to us we're going to take them.

"It's a collective effort in terms of we all have to pull our weight. We need to do a better job all the way around. It starts with the protection, the running game, the receivers getting open, the quarterback throwing and the calls. It just needs to be better all the way around."

UNDER THE RADAR: The coaches like the potential of rookie running back Chris Jennings, who had 10 carries against the Lions for 36 yards. Veteran Jerome Harrison was inactive.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 -- Catches by Chansi Stuckey. He had one in the previous four games.


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