Perhaps it’s akin to the hallucinations mountain climbers experience at high altitudes due to lack of oxygen, but the uber-defensive win over Pittsburgh last Thursday has me thinking positively about this weekend’s game. I had this one circled back in October as one of the Browns’ last/best chances for a victory.
This game will be like that scene in “Face/Off” where John Travolta and Nicholas Cage turn to shoot their guns at each other through a mirror and end up pointing their guns at images of themselves. Deep, I know. These teams have very similar identities, dating all the way back to the days of Martyball. They also both now find themselves struggling to find a footing in a rebuilding program. Offensive yards per game ranks: KC 30th, CLE 32nd; Points per game ranks: KC 28th, CLE 30th. Defensive yards per game ranks: KC 30th, CLE 31st; Points allowed per game ranks: KC 29th, CLE 25th. In other words, it’s going to be a barn burner! Without further ado…
The Browns Will Win If…
Craig: …they can play better offense than last week. The Browns beat the Steelers and we were all happy about it, but they didn’t play particularly well on offense. The passing game was borderline abysmal. Brady Quinn did a good job of not turning the ball over. He needs to do that again, but he also needs to put some productive drives together with the passing game. That means getting the ball in the hands of Massoquai, Stuckey, Robiskie and Evan Moore.
Scott: …they play at the same level they did approximately one week ago. Matt Cassell has shown that he is willing to cough up the football a lot more than Ben Roethlisberger, and isn’t nearly as mobile. Applying pressure on the quarterback works wonders – who would’ve thunk it!? Lock down on Dwayne Bowe and Chris Chambers long enough to give the defensive linemen time, and we should be golden. Brady Quinn also needs to continue playing mistake-free football and our run game needs to keep clicking whether it’s via Harrison, Jennings or Cribbs. Arrowhead is a tough place to play, but if the defensive effort continues right where it left off, these guys have a shot…
DP: …they pick up exactly where they left off on defense last Thursday against Pittsburgh. The Browns have had some extra time to rest and prepare, and they played defense like their collective hair was on fire last week. If they can bring that kind of QB pressure and overall intensity (I can’t remember a Steelers team ever struggling to run the ball as much against Cleveland…), you have to like their chances against a weak Chiefs team. Likewise, if the Browns again commit to the run, can again get Josh Cribbs involved, and let Brady Quinn simply manage the game, I think they have a good shot to come home with the W. If Marty Schottenheimer shows up, though, who knows what will happen… he’s got more snake-bitten history with these two teams than could possibly be imagined.
Rick: …the turnover trend continues. As Mangini was so eager to point out at his press conference this week, the Browns have been able to hold on to the ball lately. (Fortunately for the Browns, the Steelers committed a penalty on that botched punt return.) In fact, they looked an awful lot like the Buckeyes during that Pittsburgh game. Solid defense and special teams setting us up in good field position, and no giveaways on offense. Isn’t that Tressel-ball? I don’t know if the Browns are talented enough to win with that formula against teams with a dynamic offense, but they aren’t playing one of those this week. Here’s hoping the team doesn’t experience a huge letdown.
Now, for the other side of the coin. We reached out to a few Chiefs bloggers, and the brothers at Arrowhead Pride were kind enough to take us up on the offer. Arrowhead Pride is run by Joel and Chris Thorman. Joel is the much slimmer, more handsome brother. Without further ado…
The Chiefs Will Win If…
…they don’t turn the ball over as much as the Browns. Making the Browns go 70 or 80 yards each drive is a necessity.
Let’s face it, both these teams are pretty terrible and the one that makes the least mistakes will win.
The Chiefs are solid at times on defense even though their rankings wouldn’t indicate that. OLB Tamba Hali pressures the quarterback often enough that if the Chiefs give the Browns a long enough field, he’ll force Brady Quinn into some mistakes.
The Chiefs offense is equally terrible as the Browns but at times Matt Cassel has been pretty good not turning the ball over. He’s no Brady Quinn the last four games (but let’s face it, who is?) however I suspect if Cassel and Co. don’t turn the ball over once this game, the Chiefs will come winning the game.
What say, there, fuzzy britches?