The Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns will both head into their Week 2 Thursday Night Football matchup looking for the first victory of the season. Cincinnati missed a 31-yard field goal in the final seconds in a 16-13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, while the Browns were blown out fairly easily by the Baltimore Ravens 38-6.
The first overall draft pick Joe Burrow made his debut for Cincinnati. His main highlight was a 23-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter. He finished with 193 yards, completing 23 of 36 passes with one interception and zero touchdown passes. He rushed for 46 yards with the touchdown.
As for the Browns, it was not a great debut for new head coach Kevin Stefanski watching his team give up 28 unanswered points and being shut out after the first quarter. Cleveland’s new running backs Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb each played fairly well in one of the few bright spots. Hunt rushed for 72 yards on 13 carries, while Chubb carried the ball 10 times for 60 yards. They likely would’ve gotten the ball more had the Browns not been in catch-up mode for a lot of the game.
Date: September 17
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Channel: NFL Network
Live stream: NFLN
Broadcast region: National
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
Bengals (2019): 29th vs. Pass, 28th vs. Rush
Browns (2019): 18th vs. Pass, 30th vs. Rush
Pick: Browns -6, Under
DNP: DT Geno Atkins (shoulder), DT Mike Daniels (groin), G Xavier Su’a-Filo (ankle), S Shawn Williams (calf)
Limited: K Randy Bullock (calves), DE Sam Hubbard (knee)
Full: C Billy Price (ankle), CB LeShaun Sims (not injury related)
DNP: T Jack Conklin (ankle, finger), CB Kevin Johnson (liver), LB Jacob Phillips (knee), CB Greedy Williams (shoulder), LB Mack Wilson (knee)
Limited: T Christopher Hubbard (ankle), C J.C. Tretter (knee), DE Olivier Vernon (abdomen), T Jedrick Wills (shin)
Fantasy football start/sit advice
A.J. Green: The Bengals’ wide receiver had an unspectacular season debut with five catches for 51 yards against the Chargers. However, he led the team with nine targets and was matched up against a talented secondary. He also had a touchdown reception called back for offensive pass interference. The Browns dealt with injuries in their defensive backfield on Sunday, so this should open up opportunities for Green to put together a solid Week 2 output.
Austin Hooper: Cleveland uses plenty of tight ends in its offense, and Hooper might find some value in his Week 2 matchup. Fellow Browns tight end David Njoku left the game with an injury, and his status for Thursday night is unknown. If Njoku is limited or can’t go, Hooper should be featured more in the offense. Keep in mind he received a four-year, $44 million contract to play for the Browns. He is going up against a defense that allowed 73 yards to tight end Hunter Henry to lead all Chargers pass catchers.