Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts: A Rookie QB Epic Battle?
On Wednesday, the Cleveland Browns will start game planning for the Indianapolis Colts. Rookie quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and Andrew Luck will face off for the first time since the 2011 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. That was an epic overtime battle.
Can we expect the same on Sunday? Probably not, this isn’t college football anymore. However, Weeden and Luck have slung the football this year and their numbers are eerily similar. Through six games, Weeden has 1,513 yards and 7 touchdowns. Entering week seven, Luck has 1,488 yards and 7 touchdowns. This game is going to come down to which player makes the fewest mistakes.
The young but talented Browns are starting to put it together offensively. Supplemental second round pick Josh Gordon has been a pleasant surprise for the Browns. Recently, he has become Weeden’s favorite long ball target. In Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Gordon caught 3 balls for 99 yards and a touchdown. For the Colts, take away 12 year veteran Reggie Wayne and they would be in a world of hurting. Wayne has accounted for over a third of Luck’s passing yards. The savvy veteran has just two touchdowns on the year though.
The Browns match up real well on paper against the rebuilding Colts. However, going in to one of the hardest places for an opponent to play is a different story. Weeden is going to most likely be using some silent counts if the crowd noise is too much. If the Browns are to take their second win of the season, mental mistakes must be kept to a minimum. The Browns’ field general must go after them early and control the ground game. The Colts proved on Sunday they are in trouble at running back as Vick Ballard who has replaced injured Donald Brown, rushed for a measly 25 yards on Sunday.
Defensively, the Browns need to send a message on the line. They must get to the quarterback this week and apply some pressure. With Joe Haden back in the secondary, I believe that Cleveland has the upper hand in that department. Cleveland added three more interceptions last Sunday to boost them up to third best in the league with 10 total.
Josh Cribbs is so close to taking one to the house. Cleveland’s special teams has the edge on Indianapolis as well. “Ole’ Reliable” Phil Dawson can easily match the forever famous Adam Vinatieri in the kicking game. This game could very well end up coming down to a last second field goal by either player.
After last week’s division win, there is a sense in the Cleveland fan base that the Browns are better than people think. Cleveland needs to build on last week’s victory and carry the momentum over. If the Browns can take the crowd out of the game early and establish the run with hopefully a healthy Trent Richardson, this game is Cleveland’s for the taking.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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