The Bengals have football's most efficient quarterback, computer-programmed Ken Anderson, who completed 64.9% of his passes, had only 3% intercepted and compiled 95.9 quarterback-rating points, whatever that means. Anderson's bomb game is explosive, featuring Wide Receiver Isaac Curtis, who caught 30 passes for 633 yards and 10 touchdowns, Chip Myers and Bob Trumpy. Unfortunately, the running game is so suspect that Coach Paul Brown may have to experiment with a rhinoceros backfield of Boobie Clark and Ed Williams, two 245-pound plodders. To make matters worse, Brown traded Placekicker Horst Muhlmann to Philadelphia, leaving the job to Punter Dave Green, of whom it may be said that he is a good punter. The good news is that Center Bob Johnson, who anchors a solid offensive line, has completely recovered from his broken ankle.
Up the road in Cleveland, new coach and old Packer Forrest Gregg introduced the Browns to Lombardi-style grass drills in camp, hoping to toughen them up. He also has made jackets and ties mandatory on the road, hoping, perhaps, to soften them up. The Browns may win the best-dressed team award but not much else; in fact, Cleveland may not equal last year's 4-10 record.
What the Browns need most of all is consistent quarterbacking from Mike Phipps or Brian Sipe, both of whom are being tutored by retired head coach Blanton Collier. Greg Pruitt is the running game, and the passing is so weak that the new Browns will concentrate heavily on a two-tight-end attack. Defensively, Tackle Jerry Sherk handles the middle, while 6'8", 250-pound rookie Mack Mitchell ought to help the pass rush. The linebackers are capable, particularly Bob Babich in the middle, but the secondary is depleted now that Free Safety Thorn Darden has been lost for the season with a knee injury. So forget Cleveland—unless something weird happens, of course.