Well, I’m fully off of my Browns high from a couple of weeks ago. After an abysmal offensive performance on Sunday, the Browns come home to another game that they should have a good chance to win. Except that things have changed a bit. Jake Delhomme is back under center, who hasn’t played since the Atlanta game and hasn’t started since week 1.
On paper, this looks like an ugly game. These teams are a combined 4-16 on the year, and the Panthers are 0-4 on the road. However, it can be argued that the Browns are a much better 3-7 than are the Panthers at 1-9. For example, the Browns average almost the same amount of points as they allow (19.2 vs 20.6). The Panthers cannot boast the same: they score only 11.7 points per game and allow 25.2. The Panthers’ offense is AWFUL; 11.7 points per game, less than 100 yards of rushing offense per game, and just over 150 yards passing per game. Hopefully the Browns can capitalize. Without further ado…
The Browns Will Win If…
Craig: …the defense keeps playing as they have been. The Browns should be able to return to moving the ball on the ground this week and I do expect Jake Delhomme to keep from killing the team. We’ll see if I am correct and Jake plays within himself.
Scott: …Jake Delhomme can pick up where Colt McCoy left off. He’s the only variable between last week’s disappointing loss and this week’s game with the Panthers. Everything else should fall into place – Cribbs should be back, the defense should continue to force the opposition to make mistakes and, as a little bonus, it’s at home. I mean, Cleveland is FAVORED by 11 points. The first game since the Browns were favored by two points on their home opener, and they’re giving Carolina a two-score cushion – if the Browns don’t win this, it’s an utter disgrace.
DP: …they can shake off the bitter defeat in Jacksonville last week. If the defense can again be opportunistic with respect to turnovers, this Carolina offense is so bad that they should not be able to threaten to score too often. So, this game is going to come down to the Browns’ offense. Carolina’s defense is slightly better in yards allowed than the Browns, but they surrender a lot more points. So, can Jake Delhomme do what Colt McCoy was able to do, which is run the offense, make plays when needed, and NOT turn the ball over? That’s what it’s going to take. This game might look like an inverse of last week’s game, where the Panthers’ offense is just so stagnant that the Browns can have a little wiggle room to bring this one home, even without their best effort. All of that said, I’m with Scott: if the Browns don’t win this game, they should probably just go ahead and start cleaning house.
What say, there, fuzzy britches?