DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Here are five things to watch for in Sunday's Battle of Ohio.
This one's glaringly obvious. Jackson hasn't won a game since leaving the Bengals to become the Browns head coach, and while he won't publicly admit he wants this game more than any other, his assistants will. Running backs coach Kirby Wilson said it'd be "pretty sweet" for Jackson to beat his former team and finally put one in the Win Column. Jackson says he has zero regrets over leaving Cincinnati and taking on the ultimate challenge in Cleveland. A win on Sunday would help ease the pain.
Robert Griffin III
RG3 is making his first start since the opener in Philly, meaning this is actually his Cleveland debut. He's been on the shelf for three months with a shoulder injury, and there are two questions hanging over his return -- can he remain upright behind a bruised and battered offensive line that's already allowed two other quarterbacks to be repeatedly crushed? And, if so, can he show the Browns enough in the final four games to be part of the plan in 2017?
The Bengals quarterback is missing his top target, as A.J. Green continues to nurse the hamstring injury. And let's face it, this Cincinnati offense hasn't looked the same since Hue Jackson left them to join the Browns. But Dalton is still 5th in the league with more than 3,300 yards passing, and he's about to face a young Browns secondary that has had trouble stopping anyone this season.
Keep your eyes on Pryor, not only because he remains one of the few Browns play makers, but because the Pro Bowl rosters will be announced two days after this game, and Pryor has a legit shot to make it (which is incredible, since he came into this season just hoping for a job). Now, 855 receiving yards later, he's proving he can play receiver in the NFL at a top level, and he's going to cash in after this season.
Everything is set up for the Browns to win this game. They're coming off a bye week, they're getting RG3 back, and they're getting a Bengals team without Green and running back Gio Bernard, who tore his ACL three weeks ago. Jackson knows the Bengals very well. He's had two weeks to prepare for this game. If the Browns are going to avoid running the table to 0-16, this is the week.
Download the Cleveland 19 News app.