April 24, 2014

Week 16: The Browns Will Win If…

It’s tough to remember that another football game actually took place between Colt McCoy’s concussion and this coming contest between the Browns and the Ravens, but it’s true: actual football has been played since James Harrison went all full-forced Zenedine Zidane on the Browns’ quarterback.

Seneca Wallace will be getting the nod once again, but his receiving corps is even further depleted due to an injury sustained by emerging slot option Jordan Norwood.  The Browns O-line crumbled at the worst possible time last week. Can they regroup and keep Wallace upright for the majority of a 60-minute slate? Let’s shake our magic Orange and Brown eight-ball.

The Browns Will Win If…

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Week 4: The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns are above .500! What’s that? Their opponents to date are a combined 1-8, and that one win came against the Browns? I say it again: don’t harsh my buzz. I personally didn’t think these Browns were destined for greatness, so it’s kind of a nice surprise to see them showing that they are, in fact, NOT the worst team in the league. They’re building something for the future, and the early returns are promising. The past two years’ first- and second-round picks are all contributing. When was the last time you could honestly say that?

brownstitans

Likewise, not much was expected of the Titans this year, and they are surprising a lot of people with how well they’ve played, especially largely without Chris Johnson contributing like he has in years-past. Offensively, these have been the bizarro-Titans through the first three weeks: they’re seventh overall in the league with over 300 yards per game, and are literally last in the league in rushing yards per game, with just under 52 yards per game. However, it should be pointed out that the Titans are losing their biggest receiving threat with Kenny Britt down to a knee injury. Defensively, they’re as good as ever thus far, limiting opposing offenses to 261 total yards per game (172 passing, 89 rushing). That does not bode well for the Browns’ offense. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns Will Win If…

Aaaaand, we’re back! Fresh off their Bye Week, the 2-5 Browns get back to it against another tough, tough opponent. Raise your hand if you thought this team would be 2-5 at this point. OK, OK, I see a lot of hands, including my own, raised. Now, keep your hand raised if you thought one of those wins would have been against the Saints on the road. Yeah, me either.

brownspats

The Pats’ offense is still solid, even without Randy “I wouldn’t feed that [bleep] to my dogs!” Moss—its name is “Tom Brady”. Their defense, however, well, it’s not your slightly older brother’s defense that won three out of four Super Bowls. There’s some talent there, but the Viking among other teams showed there are yards to be gained out there against them: in fact, they’ve allowed 200 more total yards so far on the season than our Browns have. In fact, marinate in this stat for a moment: the Browns secondary—yes, that Browns secondary—allows 40 fewer yards per game than the Pats’ secondary does. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns Will Win If…

The Bye Week is on the horizon. The Browns are really banged up. Colt McCoy is getting his second straight start, this week against the Super Bowl Champs. The “new” Browns actually have a winning record against the Saints, including their first win as an expansion team in 1999, and a convincing win in 2002. The Saints won the last matchup on opening day in 2006.

brownssaints

The Saints’ offense has the potential to be destructive to a weak secondary such as the one the Browns have been trotting out. Drew Brees plays QB at a level the Browns haven’t really yet seen this year. The Browns have question marks at WR—moreso—and are giving Colt McCoy his second straight start. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns Will Win If…

It’s Week 6. The Browns Bus is up on the racks for repairs. Sadly, the Steelers probably don’t care. Thinks look grim, and there’s a guy back for the Steelers this week who won’t respect it if the Browns ask him to stop working them over on Sunday.

brownssteelers

On the road. Against 3-1 Pittsburgh who’s one last-minute Baltimore TD away from being 4-0. Without their starting QB. Who is now back. With a bye week to prepare. For the Browns. Who are starting a rookie third-string QB. And whose #1 “weapon” this year is knicked up. Sounds freakin’ AWESOME!! Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns Will Win If…

I wrote once upon a time that I would consider it progress if the Browns had the same record as last year, but looked competitive. To that end, I consider this team improved. Not only have they earned their first win a week quicker, but their three losses have been by a total of 12 points, compared to last season where their first three losses were a combined 66 points. This week they take on the Dirty Birds from the A-T-L. Ahh ha / hush dat fuss / everybody move to the back of the bus.

brownsfalcons

The Browns have another winnable game, but this one will not be easy. The Falcons have a solid offense, and are fifth in the league in total yards, 10th in passing yards, fourth in rushing yards, and ninth in points. In other words, the Browns need to sack up on defense. Both teams are middle-of-the-road on defense, as the Falcons are 16th-best (Browns 22nd) in yards-allowed. Atlanta is more vulnerable to the pass than to the run, yet they still are very good in scoring defense with just 15.0 ppg allowed. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns Will Win If…

You know something? The Browns didn’t play all that badly last Sunday in Baltimore. Other than Anquan Boldin’s angry-villagers-in-Frankenstein-style torching of Eric Wright, I thought the Browns defense held their own in some areas in which I was expecting them to get destroyed. Am I crazy for thinking that, with the way the Bengals’ offense has scuffled, this game is winnable for the Browns?

brownsbengals

These two teams are not that far apart in terms of offensive stats: the Bengals are averaging 328.7 yards per game; the Browns are at 314.3. The Browns are outgaining the Bengals on the ground 116.7 to 100.3 yards per game. The flip side, however, is that the Bengals are much stingier on defense against the run than the Browns, and of course on paper the Bengals have many more offensive weapons. But as Kenny Mayne used to say, “Games aren’t played on paper, they’re played inside TV sets.” Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns Will Win If…

Training camp seems so long ago. The 2-2 pre-season record—complete with solid offense and a shred of hope for competitive Browns football—seems like eons ago. The Browns visit Balmer to play their once-and-formers, who are coming off a disappointing loss to Cincinnati and are probably hungry for blood. Gee, I can’t wait!

brownsravens

The Browns kick off a stretch of seven straight weeks during which they will not be favored in—or expected to win—any games. First up is the Ravens. The Browns have yet to score any points in the second half; they’re tied with the 49ers for 24th in the league at 14.0 points per game through two games. Baltimore has allowed 12.0 points per game so far in their first two games. Brian Daboll better have packed his Big Boy Pants for the trip to Baltimore. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

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…

The Browns Will Win If…

It’s time! Woo hoo! We’ve warmed up with four “What We’re Watching For…” pieces for the pre-season, and now it’s time to hit for real. The Browns are still technically on a four-game winning streak, and with the start of a new season anything is possible. What time is it? GAME TIME!

brownsbucs

On paper, this is hardly a marquee matchup, with the (2009) 5-11 Browns meeting the 3-13 Buccaneers. The Browns looked like an actually-competent team at many times in the pre-season, with an offense that actually moved the ball. QB Jake Delhomme brought some much-needed stability to the position, and the stable of running backs provided OC Brian Daboll with a solid rotation of ball carriers. TE Ben Watson helped many Browns fans get over Kellen Winslow, and oh look who’s coming to dinner! I could go on, but will leave it as: it’s time to play for reals. Let’s get it on! Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

Browns vs. Packers – What We’re Watching For…

We’re finally about to see some “football”. And, while it’s not quite time to get into my “Browns Will Win If…” starting blocks for the year, it’s still a good chance to think about what we’d like to see from the Browns this weekend in their first live action of any kind against another team.

brownspackers

Where to set our expectations? First and foremost, we shouldn’t expect to see many of the “starters” much past the first few series, if even that long. So, other than reading into who’s getting action with the 1’s tomorrow night, there won’t be a ton of evaluation for the starters. That said, we do get our first look at Jake Delhomme as our starting quarterback, and our first look at the new-look (minus Eric Wright and D’Qwell Jackson) defense. So, what are we at WFNY looking for tomorrow night?

What We’re Watching For: [Read more...]

The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns are on a roll. This is another game I had circled as a potentially winnable one for the Browns, and it still is. However, some things have changed for both teams that make this one difficult to predict, and those things are centered around focused on (thanks, Grammar Police) the quarterback position for both clubs. DA! Charlie Frye/JaMarcus Russell! Saddle up!

brownsraiders

Can Jerome Harrison pick up where he left off? Are the Raiders dumb enough to kick the ball to Josh Cribbs? Is DA humble enough to stop throwing it to the other team? Is the Browns defense going to show up like they did against Pittsburgh, or is the version we saw that couldn’t stop Matt Freaking Cassel going to appear again? The Raiders’ offense is statistically the only one in the NFL worse than the Browns’ offense (fewer rushing AND passing yards per game, and fewer points per game). Their defense is a bit better than the Browns’, allowing one fewer point per game and roughly 25 fewer yards per game. In short, another barn-burner! Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

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The Browns Will Win If…

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.

brownschiefs

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…

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The Browns Will Win If…

Both teams suffered losses on Sunday that robbed them of a great deal of dignity. Only the Bengals have the weapons to take out their frustrations…

Browns and Bengals

The Browns were averaging 8.67 points per game, and scored 37 on Sunday. Their only other really solid offensive game came against these Bengals back in week 4 when they made it through 14:57 of overtime before losing. Mohammed Massaquoi had a big game against the Bengals last time out, and Quinn definitely went to him early and often against Detroit. Can the Browns continue their offensive outburst? Can the defense show up again after taking the last three quarters off on Sunday? Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

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The Browns Will Win If…

ALL EYES ACROSS THE LEAGUE WILL BE GLUED TO THIS GAME. The two most hapless franchises in the league, battling it out to see who might be the worst football team of the decade—and possibly of all time—in front of maybe 400 fans. Browns! Lions! The NFL on CBS! (That sound you hear is league and CBS executives banging their heads on their office walls…)

Browns and Lions

Total offense: Detroit, 26th (15.9 ppg); Cleveland, 32nd (8.7 ppg). Total defense: Cleveland, 28th (25.0 papg); Detroit, 32nd (29.3 papg). That’s right. The league’s worst offense against the league’s worst defense. The real “battle” will be the high-20’s matchups between Detroit’s offense and Cleveland’s defense. This game is gonna be AWESOME. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

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The Browns Will Win If…

If my memory serves me, the last two times the Browns and Bears met up in the regular season involved the home team rallying for two touchdowns to change the outcome of the games: the Browns blew a 14 point lead with less than two minutes to go (including a Hail Mary by the Bears) followed by a Tim Couch pick-six to lose in overtime in 2001, and the Browns’ Trent Dilfer (woah) threw two TDs to Antonio Bryant (remember, we had him?) in 38 seconds in the fourth quarter to beat the Bears in 2005. Just sayin’.

Browns and Bears

The Bears, frankly, looked AWFUL last week. So did the Browns. So, where does that leave us for today? Both teams are reeling. The Bears started off winning three of four, but have dropped the last two after their bye week by a combined 66-24. Chicago’s offense is 25th in the league in yards, whereas the Browns’ is 31st. The Bears’ defense surrendered almost 450 yards to the Bengals last weekend. In other words, this could be quite a matchup. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

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The Browns Will Win If…

This Sunday is the first day of the rest of our lives. OK, that might be a little melodramatic, but if you’re Brady Quinn you probably can’t help but feel like that. His career in Cleveland is all but finished, as he couldn’t even last three full games. It’s DA’s show again, folks!
The Bengals are like the Bizarro Bengals thus far this season. A fluke play against Denver away from being 3-0, including a big win over the Steelers last week. Carson Palmer is back and getting into the groove again, but the big difference is that the Bengals have a new-found strength on defense so far. Antwan Odom leads the league in sacks? Top-13 in rush defense and scoring defense? Who are these guys?? Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

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