Browns to face for­mer coach, Ben­gals

Lexington Herald-Leader (Sunday) - - Sports - BY JOE KAY

A jog­ging Hue Jack­son didn’t break stride as he left the prac­tice field.

The re­cently fired Browns head coach was try­ing to out­run ques­tions about what it’s like be­ing on the op­po­site side­line this week.

Jack­son left Cincin­nati after the 2015 sea­son and spent two-plus sea­sons try­ing – fu­tilely – to get the Browns to win. Now he’s back in town, try­ing to beat them in a piv­otal game.

He’s hop­ing his in­sights give the Ben­gals (5-5) an edge Sun­day in the in­trastate ri­valry. The stakes are high for Cincin­nati, which has dom­i­nated the se­ries lately and wants to keep it that way.

“Every­body wants to count us out right now,” cen­ter Billy Price said.

The Browns (3-6-1) merely would like a vic­tory away from the shore of Lake Erie.

Cleve­land has lost 25 con­sec­u­tive road games, one shy of the NFL mark held by the Detroit Lions from 2007-10. The Browns’ last win on the road came at Bal­ti­more, where Josh McCown led them to a 33-30 over­time vic­tory on Oct. 11, 2015 – back when Jack­son was the Ben­gals’ of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor.

Whether the streak en­dures or ends will come down to whether the Ben­gals fig­ure out a way to stop Cleve­land’s rookie duo on of­fense.

Last week, Ravens quar­ter­back Lamar Jack­son and run­ning back Gus Edwards be­came the first rookie QB/RB duo to run for at least 100 yards in the same game, lead­ing Bal­ti­more to a 24-21 vic­tory over Cincin­nati. The Ben­gals have given up more than 200 yards rush­ing in each of the last two games.

By con­trast, Cleve­land beat Kansas City 28-16 be­fore head­ing into its bye week. Rookie Baker May­field tied a club rookie record with three touch­down passes, and rookie Nick Chubb ran for a ca­reer-high 176 yards, in­clud­ing a 92yard touch­down.

HUE KNOWS: How much can Hue Jack­son tip the out­come? Sure, he knows the Browns’ sys­tems in­ti­mately and the play­ers per­son­ally, but hav­ing the bye week al­lowed Cleve­land to change some things.

“In all hon­esty, there are no se­crets any­more in the league with how all the film is out there to show every­body ex­actly what you’re do­ing,” Brown in­terim coach Gregg Wil­liams said.

OH THAT DE­FENSE: The Ben­gals fired de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Teryl Austin after be­com­ing the first team in the Su­per Bowl era to al­low 500 yards in three straight games. Coach Marvin Lewis as­sumed the job of de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor as well as hir­ing Jack­son as a spe­cial as­sis­tant on de­fense. The change didn’t make enough of a dif­fer­ence as the Ben­gals got run over in Bal­ti­more.

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