The Cleveland Browns will take on the Philadelphia Eagles this Thursday night in the third week of their preseason campaign. Both teams will be coming in off tough losses, but both will be trying to solidify their starting offenses for the beginning of the regular season. Cleveland will be attempting to continue their momentum that they have built through the passing game while Philadelphia will continue to try to live up to the expectations of the football world.
Here are the three keys to victory for the Cleveland Browns against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday:
1. Contain Michael Vick: This statement is easier said than done, but it will be required in order for Cleveland’s starting defense to be able to contend throughout the 2011-12 season. Vick is a very mobile quarterback and makes great decisions on the move. The Browns will have to use their starting linemen in order to crunch the pocket and force Vick to make quick passes. Pittsburgh used that plan to perfection in Week 2 and forced multiple interceptions while ultimately winning the game.
2. Continue To Give Colt The Ball: Colt McCoy has been simply lights out during the first two weeks of the preseason and Cleveland has been taking advantage of the early leads the have been building. The Browns will have to let McCoy beat the defenses and stay off the legs of Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty.
The biggest issue for the Browns when McCoy is on the field has to be their pass protection. Detroit put constant pressure on the Browns quarterbacks in Week 2 and put some ugly hits on McCoy before he was taken out.
3. Don’t Beat Yourself: The Browns had plenty of bonehead plays and turnovers during last weeks’ matchup and ultimately beat themselves due their lack of production. Cleveland must hold onto the football and end up on the plus side of the turnover margin in order to keep Philadelphia’s high-powered offense off the field, especially against the Browns second and third string defense.