Friday, October 17, 2008

Week 7: Browns @ Redskins

Sunday, October 19
4:15pm, CBS-HD
FedExField, Landover, MD

Here we are, already moving into Week 7 of the NFL season. The Browns have won two straight after their dismal 0-3 start and have sucked many doubters right back into their typically frustrating roller coaster style of play. They will face the Redskins in another late Sunday start, this time at 4:15. With a short week to prepare after the Monday night game this week, what should we expect? As always, your guess is as good as mine.

Keys to the game:
  • Establish an early lead. The Browns were able to do that against the Giants and it allowed them to keep their offense balanced, instead of abandoning the running game.
  • Stick to the plan. The offense had a banner day on Monday night with a lot of plays that seemed to surprise the Giants. Chud surely has more of those plays up his sleeve and it's time to showcase all of them with this offense.
  • Put pressure on the quarterback. Jason Campbell is still fairly inexperienced. To me, he's more of a 'game manager' than a 'game changer.' But if the Browns can find a way to keep utilizing some of the blitzes they showed on Monday, them might be able to force Campbell to make some throws he's not comfortable making.
  • Stay focused. The Browns need to avoid all the false starts, illegal shifts, and illegal formation penalties that have seemed to plague them all year. They were able to get away with that at home, but I'm not so sure it's a good idea to start pulling that crap on the road.
  • Play like the underdog. We all know the Browns have a hard time dealing with success. They are better when expectations are low. I hope they won't be puffing their chests too much after the MNF win. There is plenty of business left to be handled and simply getting back to .500 needs to be an immediate goal.
With all that said, I'm awfully worried about this game. I just don't see the Browns being able to stay as focused as they were coming out of the bye week. I can envision a close game, coming down to the wire with the Browns in their frazzled, clock-wasting version of the 2-minute offense. That will spell trouble in the road. I'm going with Redskins 24, Browns 17. I hope I'm wrong.

Other Browns Notes: K2 looks to be practicing today, and wants to play on Sunday... If he is unavailable against the Redskins, Tony Grossi wonders if Steve Heiden and Darnell Dinkins can have the same impact in this game... At least Braylon Edwards and DA have found their 'freaky rhythm'... And the Redskins are a little banged up this week, so maybe we are catching them at a good time.

Cavs Update: The Cavs dropped their fourth straight preseason game last night at the Q, 91-70 to the Spurs. I'd like to say I'm not at all worried because it's just the preseason... but I think I said the same thing about the Browns. It looks like it was just a bad shooting night all around for the team. Delonte I can understand because he's been out of camp. Mo's 3-for-14 on the other hand... yikes.

Where the hell has Pop been hiding all summer?
I think he scared some small children out of the Q last night.

Brian Windhorst says not to worry, and he is the expert so I'll go with him. BW also had a nice video chat yesterday that's worth a look and listen. 11 days until the real season starts...