The NFL is celebrating its 100th birthday today, and one of the ways the league is celebrating is by getting the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns to battle it out to start the second week of the 2020 season. It might not be the top matchup of the week, but fans will be interested to see both starting quarterbacks since they were No. 1 overall picks recently. Thursday's game will kick off at 8:20 p.m. ET at FirstEnergy Stadium on the NFL Network.
This will be the season premiere of Thursday Night Football, and while the game will air only on the NFL Network, the game will be aired locally in Cincinnati (WKRC) and Cleveland (WEWS). Fans can also stream the game on the NFL.com and NFL app. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will have the call with Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink on the sidelines. Fox's NFL rules expert Mike Pereira will also be part of the broadcast explaining rules and officiating throughout the game.
As mentioned, the matchup between the Browns and the Bengals will feature quarterbacks who were taken No. 1 overall in their respective drafts. Joe Burrow was drafted No. 1 overall by the Bengals back in April and had a rough start to his NFL career. This past Sunday, Burrow threw for 193 yards and one interception in a 16-13 loss against the Los Angeles Chargers. He now has a chance to win his first NFL game in front of a national audience.
"I think the best quarterbacks treat every game the same," Burrow said this week, as reported by NFL.com. "So whether we're playing the only game on a Thursday night or we're playing at 1 o'clock on Sunday in the rain, it doesn't matter. That's my mindset."
Baker Mayfield was drafted by the Browns No. 1 overall in 2018 and had a strong rookie season. However, the Oklahoma alum took a step back in 2019, completing only 59 percent of passes and throwing 21 interceptions. And after a sluggish performance last Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, Mayfield is ready to show the nation how dangerous the Browns offense can be.
"It is not just false hopes. It is there," Mayfield said when talking about the Browns offense as reported by 247Sports. "I thought we ran the ball well early on. We got away from it because of the score was a little bit different. The flow of the game forces you to do that. I thought we ran the ball well early, and finding more completions early on for me, let me focus on that to where we are smooth and just going up and down the field, keeping the chains moving."