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NFL 2014: Week 10 Thursday Night Football Preview
The NFL kicks off Week 10 on Thursday night on NFL Network when the Cincinnati Bengals (5-2-1) host the Cleveland Browns (5-3) at Paul Brown Stadium (NFLN, 8:25 PM ET).
The race to the playoffs intensifies with first place in the division on the line. Earning a division win increases in importance as the AFC North is the only division in the NFL with each team boasting a winning record. Only four times previously has a division had all four teams with winning records this late in a season since realignment in 2002.
The NFL seasons that featured all teams in the same division with a winning record this late in a season since realignment in 2002:
|2002||Week 16||AFC West||OAK (10-5), DEN (8-7), KC (8-7), SD (8-7)|
|2008||Week 16||NFC East||NYG (12-3), DAL (9-6), PHI (8-6), WAS (8-7)|
|2008||Week 16||NFC South||CAR (11-4), ATL (10-5), TB (9-6), NO (8-7)|
|2008||Week 12||AFC East||NYJ (8-3), NE (7-4), MIA (6-5), BUF (6-5)|
|2014||Week 9||AFC North||CIN (5-2-1), PIT(6-3), CLE (5-3), BAL (5-4)|
Cincinnati enters Week 10 looking for its third consecutive victory following a 33-23 win against Jacksonville.
"We're a savvy group and we overcame some adversity against the Jaguars to win," says Bengals head coach MARVIN LEWIS. "We'll take a look at it, and get everything fixed because we have a tough division game on Thursday. We are definitely looking forward to Thursday night."
In the win, rookie running back JEREMY HILL (Round 2, No. 55 overall) rushed for 154 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns. Hill joined COREY DILLON (December 4, 1997 vs. Tennessee) as the only rookies in franchise history with at least 150 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in a game. Hill is third among rookies with 349 rushing yards and leads all rookies with five rushing touchdowns this season.
The Bengals are 13-0-1 in their past 14 regular-season home games. During that span, quarterback ANDY DALTON has passed for 3,385 yards with 26 touchdowns and a 95.4 passer rating.
Cleveland enters Thursday night also coming off of two consecutive victories. In Week 9, the Browns defeated Tampa Bay 22-17 for their fourth win in five weeks. With five wins on the season, Cleveland has already exceeded its win total of 2013.
"It's going to be exciting," says safety TASHAUN GIPSON. "It's going to be really exciting to be playing on Thursday night, showing everyone what the new Cleveland Browns look like."
Gipson secured his league-leading sixth interception against the Buccaneers on Sunday and leads a defensive unit that has forced 13 takeaways this season, helping Cleveland tie for fourth in the AFC with a +6 turnover differential. Since 2013, Gipson also leads all NFL players with 11 interceptions.
Quarterback BRIAN HOYER heads into his 12th start with the Browns and aims for his ninth consecutive game with at least 200 passing yards. As a starter in Cleveland, Hoyer has led the team to an 8-3 record with 2,629 passing yards and 15 touchdowns for an 88.2 passer rating. In his only career start against Cincinnati last season, Hoyer passed for 269 yards with two touchdowns for a 103.9 passer rating on the way to a 17-6 victory over the Bengals.
The Browns and Bengals have split the season series each of the past two seasons, with the home team emerging victorious each time. Cincinnati leads the all-time series, 43-38. Cleveland is 4-6 in Thursday night games, including a 37-24 victory over Buffalo last year at First-Energy Stadium on Oct. 3. The Browns are 21-29 in prime-time games. The Browns and Bengals have met twice (1983 and 1986) in Thursday night action with the series even at 1-1.
In 11 starts with Cle., QB BRIAN HOYER is 8-3 with 2,629 pass yards & 15 TDs vs. 7 INTs with 88.2 rating. Aims for 9th in row with 200+ pass yards. In only start vs. Cin., completed 25 of 38 (65.8 pct.) for 269 yards with 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 103.9 rating
Browns are only NFL team to have 3 players with 250+ rush yards -- RBs BEN TATE (308), TERRANCE WEST (302) & ISAIAH CROWELL (256). In only career meeting (12/11/11 with Hou.), Tate had 97 scrim. yards (67 rush, 30 rec.). Crowell has 4 rush TDs, tied for 2nd most among rookies
WR ANDREW HAWKINS played 3 seasons with Cle. (2011-13) & had 86 catches for 995 yards with 4 TDs
LB KARLOS DANSBY leads team with 61 tackles. Since 2007, is only NFL player with 20+ sacks (24) & 12+ INTs (12). LB PAUL KRUGER has 4 sacks in past 2 & aims for 3rd in row with sack. Since 2013, S TASHAUN GIPSON leads all NFL players with 11 INTs
Are 13-0-1 in past 14 reg.-sea. home games
In those past 14 at home, QB ANDY DALTON has passed for 3,385 yards with 26 TDs vs. 15 INTs for 95.4 rating. Had 3 TDs in last meeting. Has 35-20-1 (.634) record, highest win pct. of any QB in club history (min. 20 starts)
In 4 career home starts, RB GIOVANI BERNARD has 427 scrimmage yards (319 rush, 108 rec.) & 5 rush TDs. Last week, RB JEREMY HILL (Rd. 2, No. 55 overall) became 2nd rookie in club history with 150+ rush yards (154) & 2+ rush TDs (2) in game (COREY DILLON)
WR A.J. GREEN had TD catch last week. Since entering NFL in 2011, has 4,191 rec. yards, 3rd-most in AFC. In past 4, WR MOHAMED SANU has 22 catches for 394 yards & 2 TDs
Since 2012, GENO ATKINS has 20 sacks, tied for most among NFL DTs. LB VONTAZE BURFICT had FR-TD in last meeting. DE CARLOS DUNLAP has 4 sacks in past 6 vs. AFC North. S REGGIE NELSON leads team w/ 51 tackles.
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