July 30, 2014

The Browns Will Win If…

Welp, the excitement from last week’s installment—at least from this reporter—is somewhat lessened following the Browns down-own-leg-urination in the second half on Sunday against Tampa Bay. But, it’s still the home opener. That’s gotta count for something, right? RIGHT?

brownschiefs

Back in the pre-season, I had circled this game as a winnable one. After the meltdown against the Bucs combined with KC’s big win over the Chargers, that’s looking much less the case now. It’s important to remember that the Chiefs put up 34 points on the Browns back in December, and put up 491 total yards in the process. So, can the Browns tighten up? Can they keep from killing themselves with turnovers just once? Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

Craig: …they can score against the Chiefs.  I think the Browns defense will play well enough to win again this week.  I think the Browns will be ready for the Chiefs’ special teams attack and will be extra careful with McCluster.  Still after seeing the KC defense torture the Chargers a week ago, it is hard to have much confidence going in, no matter who is playing quarterback for the Browns.  Regardless, the Browns will need to strike early before the Chiefs defense has a chance to build on the confidence they built a week ago.  Again, I am worried about the right side of the offensive line this week.

Scott: …they do what they needed to do last week to win.  Control the football with the run game and win the battle of the turnovers.  If Mike Adams intercepts an errant Matt Cassel pass, the Browns need to capitalize on this instead of not throwing one of their own.  They’ll need the defense to avoid the big plays – Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster are lethal, but this is the same defense that has had to defend Jerome Harrison and Joshua Cribbs all through training camp – there are no excuses. I’m not quite sure what to expect from Seneca Wallace under center, but I would assume that we would be rolling with more of a WCO-type offense this week.  Weather may be a bit tricky as its calling for rain – something that doesn’t always bode well for short, quick passes – but it will be a different style game than we have seen to this point in the Eric Mangini era.  That may not exactly be a bad thing.

DP: …they don’t shoot themselves in the foot, honestly. Lost in the post-game gnashing of teeth on Sunday was the fact that the Browns were pretty much man-handling the Bucs until they started shooting themselves in both feet. In short, the Browns are better than they were last year, but not yet good enough to overcome killer mistakes. I’d like to see Jerome Harrison get more touches, and I’d like to see more of a concerted effort to grind the game out on the ground; I have to again point out that the Browns ran the ball 49 times for 7.2 yards a crack in December against KC. The Chiefs have some weapons of their own (let’s not forget what Jamaal Charles did to the Browns last year) and keeping them off the field is still the best game plan in my eyes. If the Browns can get ahead and make the Chiefs have to be a passing team, I like Cleveland’s chances on Sunday even in spite of how much passing the Chiefs threw at them last season.

Rick: …they take care of the ball and control the line o scrimmage. That second part will be much tougher this year than last. KC’s defense looks much improved and will be focused on taking away the run. The Browns will have to pass to set up the run.

Andrew: …they have any heart. The Browns need to show us what kind of mental strength they have and whether or not they can be the kind of team who bounces back from a tough loss and plays well the next week. The Browns played well enough in spurts last week to win, and this week they need to focus on putting it all together and playing a more complete game from beginning to end. I’ve been saying it all year, too, and I’ll keep saying it…we need to see more Jerome Harrison. The Browns need to give him enough carries to develop a rhythm and get into the feel of the running game. The way the Browns used both Harrison and Hillis last week didn’t do either guys any favors. If the Browns are going to beat KC, it’s going to have to be on the strength of their running game and not on Seneca Wallace’s arm.

TD: …they keep it simple. Jake Delhomme or not, I’d like to see a return to the commitment of the running game. If its Seneca Wallace as I think it will be at QB, the offense should feature a lot of the Wildcat/Cyclone package, and a lot of Jerome Harrison and Peyton Hillis. Defensively, you can bet the Browns will see a lot more of speed merchants Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster, who were criminally underused in the Chiefs Monday night win over San Diego. I expect Rob Ryan to blitz average at best QB Matt Cassel and to stack the line to stop the run. The Chiefs, like the Browns, lack a true #1 WR and have a solid running game with Charles and Thomas Jones.

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Now, for the other side of the coin. We reached out to a few Kansas City 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. Simply winning the turnover battle is a must for this team. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the offense just isn’t very good so they can’t be expected to come back against anyone. The strength of the Chiefs offense is the run game and that’s not conducive to coming from behind. Second, they need to create turnovers to give their offense a shorter field. The Chiefs run game is solid but that passing game at this point can’t be expected to take them on 80+ yard drives.

The Chiefs defense needs to continue playing solid but I think what they need to do most is not make those killer mistakes they always seem to make — Jerome Harrison knows what I’m talkin’ about. Basically, they have to show some semblance of a run defense and make the Browns go the length of the field every time without 30 and 40 yard passes attached to the drives. The defense — particularly the secondary — is much improved so they need to give the Browns more opportunities to make mistakes instead of four-play touchdown drives.

They’ll also need to production from their special teams. The Chiefs added Dexter McCluster (touchdown return last week) and Javier Arenas (24 and 36-yard punt returns last week). They’re both rookies so we’re still trying to figure out exactly what they can do but early results say they’re both very dangerous.

Bottom line, the Chiefs can’t turn the ball over, can’t allow the Browns to have three and four play touchdown drives and will need to benefit from their youngsters on special teams.

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What say, there, fuzzy britches?

  • http://www.twitter.com/boxoflewine Eli

    Stop Jamaal Charles. Win.

    If Matt Cassel can beat us…well…the 7 games that follow will look even more fun.

  • ben

    If we don’t beat ourselves. The Chiefs are only a few small steps ahead of us in terms of a rebuilding team (and a lot of those are b/c they don’t seem to be sustaining injuries like we are).

    No turnovers. Please?

  • Shamrock

    The Chiefs have some nice, dynamic young players to say the least. Agree the Browns will have to stop the run #1 but not giving up the ball should be priority #1a. Growing pains are just that, painful.

  • http://cheifscommand.com Chiefs Command | Travis

    Nice post. I always read the Chiefs opponent’s blogs the week of the game.

    As a Chiefs blogger, I also give 5 reasons the Chiefs will lose the game each week:
    5 Reasons the Cleveland Browns will beat the Kansas City Chiefs.

    I gave you guys a shout out as well.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    The Browns should stack as many people as possible at the line of scrimmage on defense and guard the receivers one on one. Matt Cassel had a total of 60-something yards last week, and with a short turn-around for Sunday’s game, I can’t imaging they miraculously found a passing game.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually feel pretty confident that the combo of Brown, Haden, and Ward can handle their business in the secondary if left on an island, and obviously, two of those guys are rookies.

    Just stop the run and don’t put the ball on the ground on offense and win this one 14-6.

  • mgbode

    the Browns will win if Harrison gets even 1/3 of what he did against the Chiefs last year.

    that would be 94 yards and 1 TD

  • B-bo

    Stop the run on defense, pound the ball on offense. Make them one dimensional offensively, and if Matt Cassel is good enough (or our secondary poor enough) to beat us, then we deserve to lose. I don’t care who we send out at QB, if we throw more than 20-25 times, we are in trouble. The backs need to hold onto the ball, and the coaches need to have the stones to stick with the ground game.

    McCluster and Arenas make me VERY nervous–special teams needs to play lights out for four quarters. And Andrew’s point is perhaps the most critical of all: how about showing your fans a little heart, Brownies? I wrote off any chance you had to win this week’s game about midway through the 4th quarter of your debacle in Tampa: prove me wrong.

  • bobby

    Im with DP. Run, run, and run. Have the ball as long as possible every time and let Harrison get into a rhythm.

  • Billy Thomas

    I expect them to play more of the same awful football they have played for the past 10 years. They have to play a complete game to win.

  • yeah

    funny to see the rude comments about bad football for the past 10 years etc…and the browns have been the patriots? Cmon…As a KC fan I loved the Browns movement with Crennel, I was a fan of a first round RB you had there for awhile(forget his name, years ago.)…

    but a complete game means very little with the score in KC’s favor…look at the sd game, people want to keep discussing stats? its the same as your tampa game…stats are meaningless especially now that they will add another game or two, stats are even more meaningless when its about WINNING

    5 Keys to the Game
    1. Jamaal Charles
    2. Mccluster/Arenas return game
    3. make matt cassel beat you
    4. run at the replacement for tyson jackson at end.
    5. Keep momentum, look at how KC played, they fed off the crowd, they WILL feed off a quiet silent crowd so you better hope the crowd is behind the browns…if KC goes up early, it may be over because it will take mistakes…a lot of mistakes from a team that prides themselves on running a conservating ball control offense

  • sleepless in cincinnati

    Run the ball then run it some more. Keep the KC defense honest with an occassional pass. No fumbles or int’s. We are not good enough yet to overcome turnovers.

    The Defense will need to play better in order to stop a very good running game with Jamal Charles & Thomas Jones (Jones had 1402 yards rushing last year).

    If Delhomme is chucking the ball 30+ times, it could be another disappointing Sunday for Browns fans.

  • Hamfist

    Get vickers in there every play. Blow open holes for the RB, whomever it may be.

    Use the run blitz a lot.

  • sealedhuman

    …we don’t play half of the game with an injured quarterback who can’t plant or scramble away from pressure.

  • rwalke10

    I’m another Chiefs fan who likes to read the opposing blogs the week before the game. Coaching staffs for both sides use a game plan approach, so what each of us saw from the other last week, and the stats collected from same, may have nothing to do with what you see this Sunday.

    I don’t follow the Browns, so I’ll keep my comments to the Chiefs. One thing that may be a bit different this year is we are already much improved on D (thank god for that!) Your game plan last year ran thru the hole that DE Dorsey usually occupied (but was out with an injury that week.) Dorsey is healthy for Sunday, and is coming off the best game of his carear last week.

    All is not perfect on our D line however. Our DE that normally occupies the other side of our 3-4 (Tyson Jackson), is questionable for Sunday, but we have a bit more depth on the ends this year than last. Look for Wallace Gilberry and Shawn Smith to rotate at that position.

    Our LB’s and Secondary are playing much better this year as well, but we’re heavy on rookies also. Look for our 1st round pick this year (#5 overall), Eric Berry (#29) to help out defending the run.

    Special Teams is another area where you guys brought it to us last year. ST’s are much improved also. We are blessed to have not one but TWO very talented returners (Javier Arenas #21, and Dexter McCluster #22). Both are dangerous.

    Even as both are rookies, they have already proven thier worth. Arenas ran one back in the preseason (called back for a penalty), and McCluster ran one back 94 yards last week and was awarded both AFC Special Teams player of the week and NFL Rookie of the week (fan voting).

    I’m looking forward to a hard fought game. I hope there are no injuries on either side. Best of luck to both of us (but I hope ours is just a smidgen better).