KICKOFF: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FirstEnergy Stadium. TV: CBS, Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein.
SERIES HISTORY: 87th meeting. Cincinnati leads the series 47-39, including wins in the past four meetings. The Bengals are 18-24 as the road club. Cincinnati owns a 19-8 record against the Browns during coach Marvin Lewis' tenure.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
The Bengals don't want to be the first team to lose to the Browns in more than a year.
Robert Griffin III might just give Cleveland hope of finding the win column for only the third time in nearly 750 days. He's certainly more of a threat than the Bengals faced in the first meeting this season, in which rookie Cody Kessler left with a concussion and gave way to another rookie, Kevin Hogan.
Players in Cincinnati confess they are sensing pressure playing a winless team coached by former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.
"You don't want to be the team to help them stop their streak," said defensive end Carlos Dunlap. "For us it's an AFC North game, against one of our old coaches. We know it's personal for him and we're going to approach it that way."
It was clear that Bengals players believe the team needs to prepare for anything this week from Jackson's Browns.
Cleveland also will have two of its top defensive playmakers back in LB Jamie Collins and CB Joe Haden, neither of whom played in the Bengals' 31-17 win in October.
Cincinnati is coming off its most complete performance of the season in last week's 32-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. With wide receiver A.J. Green not expected to play due to a hamstring strain, they'll feed running back Jeremy Hill, who has averaged 116.5 yards in four career meetings.
Griffin hasn't played since Week 1, but the Browns are ready to give him another shot at the helm after losing 11 in a row with a revolving door at quarterback.
He carried the ball five times in the opener and was injured on an 11-yard scramble, but the threat of Griffin on the move could be the Browns' best weapon.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
--Bengals WR Brandon LaFell vs. Browns CB Joe Haden. There's no A.J. Green to contend with so, depending on matchups, the veteran Haden will get LaFell or one of the Bengals' young receivers. Haden didn't play when the teams met in October.
--Browns RB Isaiah Crowell vs. Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict. Cleveland wants to win at a slow, methodical pace; but, with a 30th-ranked third-down offense, the strategy demands success on first and second downs. Burfict missed the first four games but leads the team in tackles.
FRIDAY INJURY REPORT:
--Out: DE Wallace Gilberry (calf), WR A.J. Green (hamstring), S Derron Smith (thigh), TE C.J. Uzomah (calf), WR James Wright (knee)
--Questionable: LS Clark Harris (groin)
No players listed
Browns OG Jonathan Cooper. The 2013 first-round draft pick by the Arizona Cardinals is ready to make his first start at right guard for the Browns. The Browns have given up a league-high 45 sacks and Cincinnati's defensive muscle is in the line.
"I'll step in and do the best I can to help the team however I can," Cooper said. "Do I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders specifically? No. I'm only one person. I know as long as we work together and continue to improve as a unit, the sky's the limit."
Cooper is starting because John Greco is out for the rest of the season with a foot injury. Bengals DL Geno Atkins is one of the best defensive tackles in the league.
The Bengals have won four consecutive meetings.
Cleveland has lost 17 straight games dating back to last season. Bengals QB Andy Dalton has seven TD passes, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 137.3 in the past three meetings with the Browns.
If not now, when? The Browns will come out swinging and take down the Bengals to avoid going winless in 2016. But it won't be easy.
OUR PICK: Browns, 23-20.