The Cleveland Browns must be one of the highest potential 1-5 teams in the NFL. So far this season, Cleveland has been in every game they have played. You could argue that the Browns should be 3-3. They lost to the Philadelphia Eagles by one point in a home opener they should have won. The problem for the Browns is they have not figured out how to close a game. Last week against the Cincinnati Bengals was a step in the right direction. Can the Browns continue it tomorrow afternoon? Here’s what it’s going to take to do so.
Cleveland needs to follow in the footsteps of the New York Jets. Run the football, run the football, and run the football some more. Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight carved up the Indianapolis Colts for 256 yards on the ground. There is no reason that the duo of Trent Richardson and Montario Hardsety couldn’t do the same exact thing. I expect a big game from one of them, if not both.
The Browns showed last week that their defense is a totally different concept when Joe Haden is on the field. Haden has earned the honors of matching up against Reggie Wayne this week. Haden must get physical with the twelve year veteran by bumping him off the line and messing up his timing with Andrew Luck. After Wayne, there is no other receiver on that team that should scare Cleveland.
Lucas Oil Stadium is one of the loudest places to play in the NFL. The good guys must figure out a way to take the crowd out of the game. Pat Shurmur seems to have prepared his troops for this game. A couple times this week, he had them practice inside with simulated crowd noise through the speakers.
Finally, the Browns must win the turnover battle. Two rookie quarterbacks face off tomorrow and mistakes are bound to happen. Which quarterback makes the fewest mistakes is going to make up a key factor in the match up.
If these things happen, Cleveland will grab a nice road victory and put a second “W” in the left column.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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