Photo: Sean M. Peters
A Cincinnati Bengals fan celebrates during a tailgate before the season opener on Sept. 11, 2022.
The Cincinnati Bengals are hoping Halloween offers more treats than tricks on the turf Monday.
The Bengals' 2022-2023 regular season continues to approach the halfway point as the team prepares to take on the cross-state rival Cleveland Browns on the road Oct. 31. Cincinnati (4-3) has won four of the last five games – including the last two in a row – after a shaky start to the season.
When the Bengals beat the Atlanta Falcons 35-17 in Cincinnati at Paycor Stadium
on Oct. 23, quarterback Joe Burrow became the NFL's first player to have five games of passing for 400 yards or more in the first three years of his playing career. In that game, Burrow threw for 481 yards – the second-highest of his career – with three touchdown passes, had 32 of 42 completions and had no interceptions.
Burrow had plenty of help. Bengals wide receivers Ja'Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd both posted more than 100 receiving yards for the game — just the third pair in 15 years to do so (Chase had 130 with two touchdowns; Boyd posted 155 with one). Tee Higgins almost made it a triad, coming in just under the threshold at 93 yards. Moreover, Cincinnati's defensive line held Atlanta to 214 yards, becoming just the second team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to not allow a touchdown in the second half in seven consecutive games.
In the Battle of Ohio, Cincinnati will face a beleaguered Browns (2-5) team that has lost its last four games in a row. Cleveland's wins have come against other teams with losing records, and its defense hasn't been outstanding. But the Browns have the recent edge on the rivalry, winning the last four battles between the teams. Plus, Chase is out for the Bengals, which may give Cleveland a slightly open door.
The Bengals/Browns game is part of Monday Night Football. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
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