This is liable to get messy. The Chargers are going to straight-up murder our donkeys.
The Browns’ offense reverted back to the soulless dead fish we’ve come to know and hate for the first 9 games of the season. The explosion against Detroit was not seen at all on Sunday, despite the Bengals being willing to let the Browns hang around on the scoreboard. The Browns’ reward? A meeting with the white-hot Chargers, who have won six in a row and flat-out dismantled the Chiefs last Sunday. The Browns are facing a shortage of warm bodies on defense, combined with the aforementioned crap-fest on offense. Sounds awesome! Without further ado…
The Browns Will Win If…
Craig: …if the Browns play the Chargers and nobody sees it, do the Browns win? I give you an emphatic “YES!”
Scott: …Doc Brown shows up with his DeLorean with room for 106 players in the back seat. Get that Flux Capacitor up to 88 miles per hour and take us back to 1983. Ozzie can haul in seven passes, Brian Sipe can toss 50-yard passes to Harry Holt, and Mike Pruitt can put up 85 yards and a touchdown. And just to make it interesting, they can take it in to overtime just to come out on top. You know, let the Chargers think that they have a chance. Nothing says Browns football like over 400 yards of total offense, 29 first downs and zero fumbles. Well, in 1983 anyway…
DP: …“The Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.” This is literally the only way that I know of that the Browns can win this game: the Browns open the game with a Josh Cribbs kickoff return deep enough into San Diego territory to put them in field goal range, Dawson converts, and then the prophesies of Revelations (or, whichever is your dooms-day prophesy of choice for our non-New Testament swingers out there) come to pass and the world ends while the Browns are ahead 3-0. Should whichever spiritual overseer you choose to follow elect to spare this mortal coil throughout this entire game, the Browns are going to lose by at least 40 points.
Andrew: …Karma pays me back. At the beginning of the season my dad and I bought tickets for this game. We didn’t exactly think the Browns were going to be great, but we thought they would at least be respectable enough that going to see LDT play was worth it. But we got suckered. And now we have to watch this pathetic embarrassment of a football franchise play in person. But hey, at least we still get to watch LDT play football. If karma was ever gonna pay me back, though, this week would be a nice time to do so. Otherwise, come on, the Browns have no chance of winning this game.
Rick: …they reverse a few trends. We all know that they are going to have to play their best game of the season to win this one. I think it is going to take some big plays on special teams and defense. Unfortunately the Browns are last in the league in takeaways. In fact we are -11 in takeaway/giveaway ratio, good for last in the league. But even when we win the turnover battle it isn’t leading to wins or points. The Browns were +2 in turnover margin against the Lions. The only other game in which they had the advantage in turnovers was the Buffalo game. The defense has yet to score a TD, which would help this week as well. The bonus I guess is that we may be spared the agony of watching this one.
TD: …I wont even get into “ifs.” The Browns have ZERO shot to win this game. ZERO. No Shaun Rogers. No Brodney Pool. Possibly no Kam Wimbley. No D’Qwell Jackson. No Eric Barton. That all equals no talent on defense. The Chargers are hotter than the Tiger Woods story right now. Nobody is stopping Phillip Rivers, Antonio Gates, LT, and company these days, so what makes anyone think the Browns will? Maybe they can keep up with them offensively. BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That’s funny isn’t it? Last week proved nothing more than the Lions game was a complete fluke thanks to a opposing defense that was actually worse than the Browns. It was back to reality for Brady Quinn. I’m at a loss to even care about these games anymore. Like Craig said the other day, apathy has officially set in.
Is it time to re-instate the Browns moratorium??????
Denny: …they score more points?
Now, for the other side of the coin. The Browns welcome in one of the three hottest teams in the league (the one not named “Saints” or “Colts”). After dropping 43 on a bad—but probably better than Cleveland—Chiefs team last week, it doesn’t look good for the boys in Orange and Brown this weekend. We reached out to a few bloggers for the Chargers to see if there’s any concern about the Bolts somehow even letting this game be close. One was able to share some insight, though I think he’s being paranoid for the sake of taking pity on us.
Curtis Egan is a recovering ball watcher who through the miracle of the modern interwebs has attempted to educate himself on the game of professional football, and now haunts at BoltTalk where he writes about the Chargers, and the NFL. Happy Holidays! Without further ado…
The Chargers Will Win If…
…they come ready to play a game against a team that is hungry for a win, and looking to try and spoil a playoff run. The Chargers come into Cleveland where it can get cold and ugly quick. San Diego has a reputation of being a fair weather team, after all, every December the television channels take pleasure in showing surfers out in the ocean at every commercial break. However the Chargers of late have played well in cold weather, including winning in the snow the last time they traveled to the storied Dog Pound. Sunday does not look to be helping the Browns however as the temperatures are forecasted to be in the low 40’s, with partial sunshine.
The Browns could certainly use a little Cleveland weather as on paper the two teams are not in the same category. However, that is no reason for San Diego fans to relax, there are no “give me” games in the NFL, the Chargers divisional rivals, the Raiders and Chiefs have shown that by beating heavily favored Eagles, Bengals and Steelers respectively. While there are no “give me” games there certainly are trap games and the Chargers have to take the Browns seriously.
If the Chargers do not come in ready to play hard, they will find themselves looking at a team that is ready to play. Nor will the game film be of much use, because the Browns are forced to make multiple personnel changes due to injury, as they lose the defensive juggernaut Shaun Rogers for the remainder of the season, and find three other players hurting: Brodney Pool, Kenyon Coleman and Kamerion Wimbley.
Looking at the stats it looks like the Chargers should walk away with a win, they are 9th in passing offense, while the Browns are 31st in passing defense. That is not a friendly stat for the Browns fans, but then again, that is why you play the games… If the Chargers can protect Rivers, and open enough running lanes for the Chargers to have at least a threat of running that ball, they should walk away with their seventh win in a row.
Cleveland however will not roll over as alluded to above. If they can get their running game going, and keep the Chargers high octane offense off the field, they could prove troublesome for the Chargers who rank 21st in rushing defense. The Browns to have legitimate shot will have to control the clock, and try and minimize the Chargers scoring potential. That is not an easy task given the multiple weapons on offense and the way the defense is starting to play.
It should be a fun game to watch, I have to think the Chargers will be focused and will play their game. Chargers 27, Browns 17 is my call.
What say, there, fuzzy britches?