The Browns Will Win If…

What a difference three weeks can make. Before the Saints game, I was dreading these three games (Saints, Patriots, and Jets), thinking they would all end horribly badly for the Browns. And now, here we sit on the Friday before the Jets game with a legitimate chance to go 3-0 through this tough, tough portion of the schedule. Oh, and #17 is comin’ back, baby! Getcha Michigan hatred ready!

brownsjets

The Jets’ defense is solid; they’re 6th in the league in yards-allowed per game, and 3rd in the league in points-allowed per game. Their bread and butter on offense is the ground game, as they’re currently fourth in the league at 148.0 rushing yards per game. The Browns counter that with the 15th ranked rushing defense, surrendering 105.9 yards per game on the ground; however, they’ve allowed just 126 TOTAL rushing yards in the past two games. Rob Ryan! Rex Ryan! Eric Mangini and his former team! Braylon and the fans that love to hate him! Let’s get it on!! Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

Craig: …they can make Mark Sanchez look like the quarterback I think he is.  I know he has shown some flashes and has some nice receivers, but I think he can be rattled.  The Browns need to find a way to get to him, and hopefully Marcus Benard is ready to go.  Obviously the Browns could have some difficulty moving the ball on offense, meaning that this could be a drawn out defensive slugfest.  That being the case, the Browns MUST stop the Jets passing game from hurting them.

Scott: …they continue to do more of the same.  I hate to go back to the same card week after week, but the turnover differential is huge.  If they can continue to force the other team to make mistakes while not making any of their own, the Browns will be in a very good place.  Mark Sanchez is easily the worst quarterback this Browns defense has faced since Week 4’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Sure, Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and LaDanian Tomlinson will provide a bit of an issue, but forcing Sanchez to throw the ball will be key.  I do fear that the Jets will opt for a bit more of Shonn Greene this week, and if that’s the case, stopping the run will be integral.  Third-and-longs should be the goal for Rob Ryan’s boys.  With regard to the offense, even Peyton Hillis will not be given any wiggle room from the fans if he coughs up the ball.  He and Colt McCoy will need to continue pounding the ball, but I foresee a lot more running from spread formations to make sure that the eight- and nine-man fronts are kept to a minimum.  It remains to be seen if this team has any more trick plays in their bag, but they may need one or two of them this week.  It’s a totally winnable game, as long as the Browns don’t shoot themselves in the collective foot.

DP: …they can keep dancing with the girl that brung them. They’ve won these past two games by playing defense, and by creating an offensive game plan that it well-suited to the opponent. Gone is the square-peg-round-hole attempts to move the ball on offense. Colt McCoy is playing well, not making mistakes, and leading this team in the huddle. But, the Jets are a different animal on defense. The Browns’ defense was solid against the Patriots, though they got some help from poor play by Tom Brady. I believe they can force Mark Sanchez into the same kind of game, and it would be nice if they can contain #17 (or, if he elects to contain himself by dropping a ton of passes). Peyton Hillis needs to have one more "hero" game in his body, as this Jets’ defense is a tough defense to run on (only 87.4 yards allowed per game). So: on offense, control the clock, don’t turn the ball over, and hope that Brian Daboll has a few more well-timed trick plays up his sleeve to keep Rex Ryan and the Jets off balance. On defense, hope that the Browns can slow the run game down enough to make Mark Sanchez beat them, and hope that he doesn’t have the chops to do it.

Rick: …they can (once again) control the tempo and style of play, and don’t give the ball away. Both of these teams want to run the ball and use the pass to mix things up. The difference will be who is able to control the line of scrimmage in the running game. If the Browns get behind by more than 2 scores it may be difficult for them to catch up, so jumping out to another early lead is important. The Browns have managed to stay at least even with teams all season in the first quarter. In fact, the Browns haven’t allowed a single point on the opposing teams’ opening drive. 8 games, 6 punts, 1 interceptions (Pittsburgh) and 1 fumble recovery (New England) on opening drives. Very impressive. Let’s keep that string alive.

Andrew: …Colt McCoy has a big day. The Browns may find running the ball on the tough Jets rush defense a little more difficult than it was against the Patriots’ weak defense, but McCoy can help make things easier by continuing to make big plays on 3rd down, escaping the pocket when needed, and not throwing into coverage. The most remarkable thing about the Patriots game was that not only did McCoy not throw any INT’s, but I don’t recall him even throwing one ball that was in danger of the opposing player making a play on the ball. Once again, I just feel in my gut that the Browns’ defense can make enough plays to keep the offense in it, and from there they will need McCoy to make some plays to open things up for Thunder Hillis. The last key, in my opinion, is to not abandon the running game early if the Jets are having success slowing the Browns down. The Browns shouldn’t have to rely solely on McCoy. They just need him to make some plays to open things up for Hillis on the ground.

TD: …they win the turnover battle and run the ball. Now, these are getting fun! Against the Saints, I made a joke about Drew Brees needing to struck by lightning. Against the Patriots, I said the Browns were so due to get blown out. So now where do I go? The truth is they Browns can win this game if they win the turnover battle and are able to run the ball consistently with Peyton Hillis against one of the best D’s in the league. If Colt McCoy can duplicate last week’s performance, that would be great too. Defensively, just do not get beaten by Braylon Edwards deep. Nothing would make me more sick. The Jets want to run to set up the pass, so keeping LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene should be a priority. Also, I smell a return TD from Josh Cribbs. We are long overdue.

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What say, there, fuzzy britches?

  • brownsfan019

    Same as the last 2 games —

    Put McCoy in a spot to manage the game.
    Hillis runs like a rhino.
    And the D plays solid.

    Sprinkle in a few catches by the WRs and good special teams play and after these last 2 games, how can you not get excited about the Browns beating the Jets?

    Braylon… The Ryan brothers… some good stuff on the line this game.

  • JK

    This is a scary game to me. Our DBs, most notably EW, will have to come to play this week. He’ll be on either BE or Holmes, either can really hurt us. Hopefully we can get pressure on Sanchez (Benard out?). If we don’t get any pressure could be a long, long day. Keller, Holmes, and Edwards will all have to be covered well. On the offensive side of the ball we’ll need more than Hillis to have any kind of success what so ever. I think we’ll need a special teams break to win this game (were due for a Cribbs return!)

    If I had to make a prediction, I say we fall way back to earth on this one, and the playoff chatter stops.

    Jets 26, Browns 10

  • http://www.60bpm.com/ Robbie

    I’ve got to think that if Rob Ryan’s defense can confuse the hell out of Rothlisberger (he admitted this), Drew Brees (performance) and Tom Brady (performance), that it will confuse the hell out of Mark Sanchez. Seriously, the Browns need to make the Jets put the game in his hands.

    The problem is the Browns have a similar situation with McCoy.

    This should be an exciting game and a defensive battle… but the Browns shouldn’t have won the previous two games. Who knows what’s going to happen?!?

  • brownsfan019

    @3 – good point. Sanchez is nowhere near those 3 QB’s you listed, so hopefully we can continue to confuse.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    If the Browns can force 3rd and long situations, we should see more of the “amoeba” defense that seemed to confuse Brady and Brees (1 down lineman or less and everyone milling around at the snap so as to disguise who’s rushing and who’e covering).

    Plus, turnovers will be huge.

    The Jets are a bit overrated at this point. While their defensive numbers look good, their offense is suspect. The last two weeks have been pretty bad after being shut out by Green Bay, and they should have lost to Detroit.

    Bring on the Rob/Rex bowl! Also, don’t forget, both QB’s in this game are pretty young. If the Browns have a trick play up their sleeve, expect it early, because playing with ANY kind of lead will be huge.

  • Harv 21

    Don’t care if they win. There, I said it.

    So appreciative to once again have a football team that plays tough and disciplned, has some young and promising players and is fun to watch that it feels like we’re playing with the house’s money this year.

    More of the same, please. Pressure and expectations are all on the Jets. Play hard and fast and loose and wherever we are by 4:00 Sunday, I’m totally fine.

  • Dude Bro Guy

    “lord, it’s a miracle!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ojoQ938Wio

  • Choodafoo

    The only problem I have is with Andrew saying that Colt McCoy didn’t throw a single pass that was in danger of being picked off. There were a couple here and there, and he made a really nice throw to Brian Robiskie on the run that was caught by Robiskie diving for it, and could have ended up badly if thrown any left or right. But other than that I agree that the Browns have a legit chance at winning this, and hopefully they do since I’m going to the game!

  • bobby

    There was a pass down the sideline to Stuckey I believe that was almost picked early on in the Pats game… right by the endzone.

    the TOP will be crucial in this game. Hillis needs to be big, but also they need Bell or Clayton to step up and sub in with 7-10 carries. Hillis is gonna get beat up this game, so getting a backup some yards would be key. I am confident that it will be close, but I also have this bad feeling that, like JK said, the browns may just get knocked down this week. I mean, even if they were the Colts, going 3-0 against the Saint, Pats, and Jets in 4 weeks is a very tough thing to do. Jumping out with an early lead could be the difference. That happened in the last 2 games. If Cribbs takes the opening KO to the house the browns could get this one.

  • TSR3000

    I don’t just want to confuse Sanchez, we need to get to him and get to him early. We need more than one sack to win this game. We have to force him to beat us.

    They have the same game plan for Colt. Curious to see how he responds.

  • JK

    @9

    That was Cribbs. And he actually made a nice play to break up the potential int.

  • B-bo

    Keep Braylon out of the end zone, and I’ll be content here.

  • mgbode

    @TSR – I agree that confusing Sanchez doesn’t matter much. When you watch him play, Schott has dummied down the playbook where he makes 2 reads. His primary WR and his ‘hot’ WR. If no pressure, then go primary. If pressure, go hot. You can’t confuse a QB who doesn’t even know what to look for in the first place.

    We need to:

    1. Stop the Jets running game. Their OL is good, but I think we have the bodies to put a stop to what sets up their entire offense. We can force Tomlinson and Greene to go up the gut by sealing the edges and funneling everyone to Fujita and Ward.

    2. Run the ball. It would be nice if Mike Bell showed up this week so this did not entirely fall on Hillis’ admittedly broad shoulders. But, either way, we need to get some manageable 3rd downs and get our defense the rest it needs (as the Jets want to pound the ball).

    3. Win the turnover battle. Sanchez should ablige if Ward and Elam can actually catch one of those balls in their gullet. McCoy needs to continue his ways of not turning the ball over.

    4. Win the field position battle. STs are huge, turnovers are huge, and being able to run the ball is huge. Anyone else think that Jim Tressel will tune in to watch this game with a huge smile on his face (for both sides not just the Browns).

    5. Let McCoy be McCoy. I think if we continue to develop him and allow him more and more leeway to do what he needs to do on the field, he will succeed. This is just another step in his progress.

  • Chris

    I don’t even care if we win, it just feels so great to be in a position where we can honestly contemplate it without feeling foolish.

    In order to win, Hillis is going to need to keep fuel in the tank well in to the fourth, because this has the potential to be a real slug-fest. For that to happen, someone else needs to step up and have a big day too. Cribbs? Momass? Bell?

  • sleepless in cincinnati

    2 things I would love to see regardless of the final score:

    a) TJ Ward knocking wr’s out
    b) 6+ sacks & 2 picks by our Defense.

    Expose Sanchez and continue to show the country these are no longer the pushover Browns.

    Go Browns!

  • mgbode

    Oh, and I personally loved the NFL-Network guys referring to our OL as the “smashing pumpkins”

    let’s do some good to make this nickname stick.

  • TSR3000

    Mgbode- HAHA, I love that nickname. I hope it sticks. I think that group deserves a nickname. They have been playing incredible lately.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    Relevant Browns football in November…it’s a beautiful thing.

  • Forrealmccoy

    @6… seriously???

  • Nicky Z

    Teddy Bruschi just threw his weekly challenge flag at the Cleveland Browns. He challenged them to get this win and finally “prove that they are consistent”.

    For the Browns, beating 2 of the 5 top teams (arguably) in the NFL (back-to-baack) in their second year (1st mabye?) of rebuilding is enough for me. If they get a win against butterfinger braylon and his boys, I’ll be ecstatic, but I’m already SO proud of them!

    Jim Rome let braylon HAVE IT yesterday on his show, you should check it out!

    GO BROWNS! GO COLT! Give ‘em HELL!

  • JM

    26-10!? This will be a close game prob decided by 6 points or less.

  • Jason M.

    If Thunder Hillis can impose his will on this defense, it will make my week. That is the one part of this game that I think if we win, then it will definitely give us an opportunity for the W.

    I also think it’s hugely important that the Jets are coming off of an ugly win against a bad team. They played like crap, but didn’t get burned by it so I don’t think they will be fired up to play good football this Sunday because they think they can get away with sloppy play. I think that happened with the Saints and teh Pats, and we burned them for it. Hopefully there’s more where that came from.

    More than any X’s and O’s or stats or matchups, I think the mental battle is going to be huge. We know the Jets want to come out and smack us in the mouth. They’re bullies. They’re good at what they do, but they’re bullies. If our guys get back up and go right at them and punch ‘em right in the mouth, we can win this thing. We can’t back down, though. We can’t get stupid penalties, but I wouldn’t mind a little chippiness. Get up in their faces, talk some trash, then shove Thunder Hillis down their throat.

  • Marco

    If you’re the jets, you have to stack the line and force McCoy to beat you, right? And with Revis patrolling one side of the field, it’s going to be a tall order.

    So, the Browns win if…

    McCoy can make enough plays downfield to keep the Jets defense honest.

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