Browns @ Buffalo: Game Number Fourteen
I cannot sugar coat this season, it was been painful to watch and the positives are few and far between. However, this is another contest I feel the Browns will have a slight opportunity to secure a victory. The odds are stacked against them as they travel east and face a rather solid football team – who is expected to win by double digits. There are four reasons why the orange and brown could still strike the upset, let’s take a further look into these.
Distention in the Ranks
There have been rumors surrounding the future of Bills’ coach Rex Ryan as he navigates his way to another losing season. Have there been talks between management and the coaching staff? Will this affect the way the coaches call this game plan on Sunday? It might be all for naught, as Ryan was in a similar situation in 2013 (with the Jets) and defeated the Browns in a contest late in the season – en route to saving his job that year.
(Actually) Scouting the Opponent
Le’Veon Bell is undoubtedly one of the best running backs in the NFL and plays like it week in and week out. He had a historic performance last week in Buffalo; I would have to imagine that coach Jackson and the Browns will attempt to stick the run themselves. I know Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson are nowhere near the level of Bell, but maybe they can find holes in the defense and can make things much easier for the offense.
Quarterback Question Mark
Along the lines of the head coach, the guy under center has come under much scrutiny and could be replaced in the near future. However, Tyrod Taylor will be the starting quarterback for the opposition in this matchup. I have never understood what the Bills saw in him and felt he was mediocre at best. One way the Browns could win this game, is due to Taylor succumbing to the pressure of being benched and trying to make plays that simply aren’t there. Forcing turnovers and getting points is something the Browns’ defense desperately needs.
Losing five of its last seven meetings, the team in Buffalo is getting antsy. (I understand that it is not as bad as it is here, but our front office is ok with losing this year). This is further pressure placed on the organization and everyone who is responsible for their success. It will be interesting to see how the home team responds to this; hopefully they are not up to the challenge.
Conclusion: I really want to pick the Browns to win this contest, but I would rather be correct. The Browns will not fall behind the way they did a week ago but might find themselves in a hole late in this game. I anticipate a steady dose of LeSean McCoy early, leading to a play action touchdown or two. Robert will try to rally the troops but come up just short as the Browns fall 27 – 20.