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The Biggest Loser: Browns v. Rams Preview
Posted By Bradley Ross On Nov 11 2011 @ 3:54 pm In Cleveland Browns | No Comments
The winner of this game is not going to come out looking good. Both of these teams are not very good right now and the winner may come down to which team sucks the least. The Browns are coming back home after losing two on the road, while the Rams are coming off an emotional overtime loss to the rival Cardinals. The Browns actually should be favored in a game for once. The Rams are have the 2nd worst point differential in the NFL, and only once have scored more than 16 points, while the Browns average 15 points while facing defenses much stouter than the Rams’. The Browns could still lose this one, but this is a much easier match-up than they have had since the Colts who they beat pretty handily.
The Browns Offense has looked very bad over the last several weeks. Part of that is due to injuries to their top 3 RBs and some O-Lineman. Part of it is that they have faced some very good defenses (including SF and Houston who both rank in the top 10 on Football Outsiders). Part of it is just that they are not good. Colt mccoy has not looked good and has not gotten good protection up front. The wide receivers have struggled to get open and the RBs have struggled to get yards. Thankfully, running backs average over 5 yards per carry against the Rams. The biggest worry the Browns have is Chris Long who is likely going up against the Browns’ porous right side. If Colt can get time to throw, he can have a solid day against this defense.
The Browns defense had a down game last week, but they are not facing the kind offense Houston boasts. Houston has a great 1-2 punch at running back, though the St. Louis RB Steven Jackson is also very good. The key to stopping the Rams will be to load up the box against Jackson and make sure he doesn’t break big gains. If the Browns can force a lot of 3rd downs, this game will most likely go in their favor. The Rams are the 2nd worst offense in 3rd down situations. The Browns on the other hand are slightly above average on D at stopping the offense on 3rd down. Loading up the box will also help to easily bring extra rushers on Bradford. The Rams O-Line has been just as bad as the Browns’ and they should be able to get good pressure. Along with that, Haden should be able to shut down their only dangerous receiving option in Brandon Lloyd.
The Browns have been burned on special teams by teams who have good return games, but St. Louis is not one of those teams. Josh Cribbs should have a decent day, but more importantly the opposing returner isn’t going to burn the Browns.
Some breaking Browns news: It looks like TJ Ward will miss Sunday’s game and unconfirmed reports say he could be out for 4-6 weeks. This is not good for the Browns’ secondary, though this shouldn’t drastically hurt them against the Rams
Prediction: Browns 23, Rams 16
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