The Browns Will Win If…

Ugh. Turkey coma. Good times. Due to Thanksgiving engagements, I am forgoing my trip up to Cleveland for this game. And, for some reason, I’m not all that sad about it. Having gone to so many games over the years, I’ve had the chance to see Peyton Manning shred our defense on more than one occasion. Color me crazy if I don’t want to see it again.

The Colts are hot right now, having won four straight games. Let’s just set this up with some important numbers: Colts total passing: 249.5 ypg (6th NFL). Browns passing defense: 223.7 ypg (20th NFL). Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

Craig: …they run the ball. That’s it. I have no words of wisdom for this week. I have no expectations for anything. I could fake it and say that “it will be interesting to see how this team comes together with another week of adversity,” but I don’t think it will be interesting and I don’t particularly care to see it.

Scott: …Derek Anderson reverts back to pre-contract extension Derek Anderson. If Jamal Lewis/Jerome Harrison/Josh Cribbs combine for about 30 carries. Joe Thomas can bounce back from last week’s game and block Dwight Freeney to give Anderson some time. Braylon Edwards catches the ball and doesn’t commit any bonehead penalties. Shaun Rogers is able to stay on the field during hurry-up offenses. And if our nickel defense can keep up with the three receivers that Manning has as options. All of these have to happen for them to win, yet I’ll be thrilled if any of them do…

DP: …one of two things happens: 1) the weather is SO HORRIBLE that it negates the passing game. Indy is 30th in the league in rushing at just under 79 ypg, thus making them very one-dimensional. 2) The entire Colts offense comes down with a debilatating flu bug right before the game, rendering them all unable to play. The only way I see the Browns winning this game is if there is another Buffalo-game-type blizzard that disrupts Peyton Manning to the point that the Colts have to run the ball, which is something they have not done with any conviction all season. The only other potential bright spot is that the Colts rushing defense is allowing almost 137 ypg, which is good for 25th best in the NFL. Rob Chudzinski is going to have to have learned some humility and is going to have to commit to the run. It’s an area of weakness for the Colts’ D, and the more the Browns run successfully, the longer Peyton and Co. are sitting on the sidelines. All of that having been thoughtfully researched, it will be a miracle if the Browns keep the score within 20 points. Hey ma! Can I get thirds on turkey now??

RockKing: …{crickets}…

Editor’s Note: When pressed, Rock had this to say: “Well, I mean, I could say some BS about how if the Browns rally together and make a late season stand and come out playing inspired football, and they get pressure on Manning and make key 3rd down stops against Indy, and if DA summons his inner-2007 self then the Browns just might have a chance… …but none of that is going to happen. I’m really struggling to come up with a realistic scenario where the Browns win this game. All I hear is chirping crickets.”

Rick: …they get pressure on Manning, and preferably up the middle. Shaun Rogers will have to have his best game as a Brown. We all know Manning is probably the best QB at reading defenses, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to blitz. My fear is that the Browns run a couple of early blitzes that Manning reads and they stop trying the rest of the game. The Colts haven’t had a good running game most of the season, but we are still weak defending the run, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they found success on the ground.

Offensively…not to sound like a broken record…but our playmakers have to, well, MAKE SOME PLAYS! It would be nice to see Jamal Lewis get 15-20 carries, and Harrison get a dozen touches. I’d love to see more of Josh Cribbs in the game plan. We all know that this team is only going to win if Derek Anderson has an outstanding game. Yes, he is capable of it. No, I’m not expecting it.

Mike…if they manage to continue their strange trend this year of playing to the level of the competition, post Dallas of course. I’m interested to see if Derek Anderson figured anything out while watching from the sidelines the past few weeks. Now that there is no pressure on the guy, will we see the return of the freewheeling gunslinger we saw the first ten weeks of last season? Maybe, but probably not. Indy is favored by 5 1/2. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Browns keep this one close.

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Alright, WFNY. Put down that drumstick long enough to tell us: if you have tickets, are you going to this game? If not, are you watching this game at home? If you answered “yes” to either of those, what’s your “leave the stadium”/”turn it off” threshhold? Do you think the Browns have a chance to make this a game at all? More importantly than all of that, will someone please pass the gravy??

  • Merrick

    Well, I’ll be watching the game. I’m not the type to give up on a Cleveland team, but his team has me in a conundrum. I’ll watch the whole thing out, even if it’s 35-3 at the half… but I probably won’t enjoy much of it. This team takes dedication, that’s for sure.

    The most obvious way we’ll win is with turnovers. If we can get Manning rattled early and have him throw a couple of picks (yea, I know, what are the chances), then we’ll have chance. We need to stay committed to BLITZING. I agree with Rick… I have a feeling Tucker won’t blitz nearly enough and give up on it.

    We need to run a lot too, like the guys emphasized. Mix it up a little while we’re at it. We have nothing left to lose, so throw in Cribbs in the Wildcat formation… have him throw the ball… SOMEthing.

    -Merrick

  • TampaBrett

    First game I’ll be missing this year, neither going nor watching on TV. DA is back at the helm, playing a good team, out of play off contention. I can’t take this season anymore. I’m more worried about making fantasy football playoffs then this game.

  • http://justrubsomesugaronit.blogspot.com I’m Ron Burgundy?

    The Browns will win if Romeo Crennel forgets to show up and blow the game. This may be due to getting iced in at Arby’s. Or because he’s too tired from staying up all night and consoling his good friend Cheezburger Charlie after his team gives up 80+ points to USC.

  • http://patrick.veverka.net Patrick

    I think we need to practice blitzing in this game. Even if we get burnt for a ton of TDs, we need to blitz like crazy. Just to see if we can get some pressure.

  • The Bambino

    It’s weird the line is only 4.5…ITS A TRAPPPPPPPPP

  • Brwnsgrl

    I am going – its the only game I have tickets for this year. At least I’ll probably get to see a good quarterback play – unfortunately, I don’t think it will be the one that plays for our team…

  • ashevillain

    only 16 games in a season… 48 hours of cb football in each year.. i watch them all, every brutal second… most of them, i will find a way to watch again, and scrutinize in the offseason…

    i especially hate the fan protest action of “mass exodus from the stadium”… while understandable in a true blowout, at least half of the upper deck had left the first pittsburgh game right after the field goal decision in the 2nd half… have no idea what real effect this has, either as a statement, or upon the game itself, but i am a big believer in crowd energy, especially home crowd energy… if im playing a set of music at a bar and its not my best night, but im getting through it, and then i break a string and my voice cracks on my second to last song, and everyone gets up to leave, i guarantee my last song isnt gonna be too hot… however if my crowd is giving me some love no matter what, accepting me for what talent i do have, we can all have some fun together, and as the night goes on, im going to get better….

    we all pay our own capitalist energy vouchers to see this team, and we all deserve to have the type of experience that we see fit, including storming out of the stadium in a fit of rage, but to me, this is the same cleveland browns i have loved all my life… scrappy and overmatched somewhere in the lineup, but fighting every step… our net pts this year through 11 games is negative 30… thats an average of losing every game by less than a field goal… while its a sad state of affairs, things have been worse on the lake… these have been games that, for the most part, have kept me interested to the end… whatever sour brown taste is in my mouth afterward……

    i think you all might be underestimating the browns this week. indy Center J. Saturday is out, i believe, so a backup will have to contend w/ rogers… while this team may or may not be crumbling at the seams, they also have nothing to lose, and i dont see any reason why we couldnt see a focused, determined d.a. that we’ve not seen before… the browns always play the colts tough, if memory serves… i dont see a blowout at all… hope im right… regardless, ill sit there through just about any drubbing… the total shutout is a hard one to stomach, though… i sat at the cincy shutout of the browns a few years back w/ frye at the helm until the end, just hoping we would get on the board…. so humiliating…

    i just hope chud has been playing some madden or doing whatever ritual he does before the weeks when the plays seem fresh, spontaneous, exciting…. this year, only the giants game really comes to mind… every other game, something has me scratching my head…

    i want to see cribbs harrison and jamal in the backfield all at once…. if bq is the qb of the future and we are trading d.a. lets just run a variation of the wildcat w/ cribbs at qb…. think they would be unstoppable, assuming cribbs can make a few throws… dont know why an nfl team has never been able to harness the fragile ego of the starting qb such that he could interchange quarterbacks at will, based on the situation… am sure rhythm has something to do with it, but i’d love to see a true qb rotation work someday….

    i cant believe ive rambled this long… see, i really love this football season stuff… the losing im used to, it could be worse in that dept…

    go browns…

    one last thing… i hope every browns fan here is also a cavs fan because it is really making the end of this season a lot more palatable for me… total domination!

  • mendy

    and on a completely different note:

    how much fun is that ketel one ad game to the left? unlike braylon, i didn’t drop ANY garnishes. go me!

  • vsb

    Rick – Good news veteran center Saturday is out for the game and they have a rookie replacing him. They will have to put a lotta guys on Rogers.

    DP – P. Manning and the Colts actually aren’t very good games against the Browns. He has only thrown for 2 TDs, has 4 INTs, 2 Sacks, 1 Fumble and only thrown 992 Yds against us in 4 games. The games have all been lost by a touchdown or less. When they played here in 03 the score was 6-9.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com DP

    ashe-
    Very well put. I think the point I tried to get across in the other post about us not being Lions fans is echoed by what you’ve said here. I still buy my season tickets, and generally only miss the games I *have* to miss. I’ll be watching… I’m just watching expecting a drubbing. :-)

    The problem I think that most of us here at WFNY have is not that we’ve given up on the Browns… more that there are elements to the Browns team that are holding the team back. For instance, talent-wise, the Browns are not that far off, but a lot of us feel that the head coach is holding them back. Hence, our displeasure and frustrations with the team.

  • S-Dub

    VSB: I think only Phil Dawson is left from that team so I’m not sure how that works out for us.

    WE HAVE TERRY “FREAKING” COUSIN AS OUR NICKEL…. WE AIN’T WINNING NOTHING!!!!

  • ashevillain

    oh, dp, im uber-frustrated w/ the coaching as well… i guess i just have trouble remembering a time when i havent been… was never sold at the end of last season that they had turned a corner… the last time i was satisfied w/ the coaching was the late 80’s, and to be honest, i was a child, with little ability to critique such things… i was 11 when they went to bud carson, and as you know, its been the same sad story ever since…

    but i do believe that the browns have been winning in spite of their coaching, not because of it.. not just under crennel, but for many years…

    this has been a pretty close season though.. i truly believe that braylon alone could have us at 7-4 instead of 4-7 if he catches only half of those drops… so many drive killing drops! mofo needs to stop watching michigan games on saturdays…. must be killin his mojo….