CLEVELAND- Last Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars was a disaster. The Browns were completely destroyed by a team that was 0-6, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The offense’s performance left little to be desired.
The Jaguars defense charged through the Browns offensive line, which gave Brian Hoyer minimal time to look at his options and make the best decisions. It is understandable that quarterbacks are supposed too make the best decisions regardless of the performance of the offensive line but it’s not as simple as the objective sounds.
The loss of Alex Mack seemed like a crippling blow last Sunday despite Cleveland’s success with John Greco one week earlier. When the offensive line can’t do its job, it makes it very hard for the quarterback to do what he needs to do. It’s not an excuse for Hoyer’s performance.
The line’s poor performance is a contributing factor. The lack of a solid running performance hurt the Browns.
Ben Tate needs to quickly recognize the holes and charge through with speed, power and determination. He did not do that in Jacksonville. The defense needs to play with the same intensity as they did against Jacksonville. Despite the torture the Browns endured in the dark confines of Jacksonville, there is light at the end of the week-long tunnel.
Cleveland is facing another team that doesn’t have a win, the Oakland Raiders. Oakland ineffective stopping the run as they rank 29th in the NFL giving up 145.3 yards per game. If Oakland performs that way against the Browns, Cleveland will be very effective on offense as this team typically uses the running game first to set up their effective passing attack. The game will start at 4:25 p.m.
How long will Isaiah Crowell play? The Browns may use both Isaiah “the crow” Crowell and Terrance West often in this game. Employing all three running backs against the 29th ranked rushing defense will increase the probability of a Browns win.
Browns defense will likely struggle against Derek Carr. Derek Carr is having a sensational rookie year. Carr has an 80.9 quarterback rating, 1,189 passing yards and 8 touchdowns. The only negative stat for Carr is his interception total. He threw five interceptions so far.
However, the Browns defense only has one solid game under their belt this year so Carr will likely have one of his top performances of the season.
Raiders need strong running game to win. The Raiders have not been successful at all running the ball with Darren McFadden. They rank last in the NFL averaging 69.3 yards per game. The Raiders are discussing using Maurice Jones-Drew more often. Jones-Drew has just 18 carries.
The Browns defense ranks last in the NFL giving up 155.5 yards per game. The team that has the advantage in rushing yards will likely win.
Will Matt Schaub be traded? Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub could be traded. The market may not be there to trade the 33-year old passer but it is worth keeping an eye on.
Prediction The Browns will score early and often against the defective Raiders run defense. However, Oakland will trade scores with Cleveland throughout the game.
An “ugly win” is on the horizon for the Browns. Cleveland will win 31-28.