Cleveland Browns vs. Washington Redskins - Official Game Thread

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CLEVELAND BROWNS (2-3) WEEK 7 WASHINGTON REDSKINS (4-2)
VS.
Date: October 19, 2008 Location: Landover, ML
Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
Stadium: FedEx Field
TV: CBS
Favorite: Redskins by
Radio: WMMS, 100.7 FM Over/Under: 42
SBN Coverage: Hogs Haven Announcers
Ian Eagle & Solomon Wilcots (YAY!)

Suddenly, things are looking a lot brighter for the Browns. We are coming off a well-played win over the defending Super Bowl Champions last week, as both Ryan Tucker and Donte Stallworth showed how important they were to the team. This week, we're getting Sean Jones and Kellen Winslow back. At the same time we're becoming the football team we were supposed to be, a good team like the Redskins is seeing all of their running backs and members of the secondary getting wounded.

With the injury factor benefiting the Browns for once, will that overcome our road difficulties? Let's kick off this week's preview with the overall team statistics thus far...

OFFENSE

Category Browns Redskins
Points Scored 16.2 (26th) 21.0 (19th)
Passing 161.0 (26th) 201.7 (17th)
Rushing 98.4 (23rd) 152.3 (3rd)
Total Offense (yards) 259.4 (28th) 354.0 (7th)

DEFENSE

Category Browns Redskins
Points Scored 18.4 (8th) 19.5 (10th)
Passing 188.0 (11th) 202.0 (13th)
Rushing 137.0 (25th) 83.8 (6th)
Total Defense (yards) 325.0 (17th) 285.8 (8th)

 

 

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Quarterback

When Derek Anderson is at the top of his game, he can match up with almost any quarterback in the NFL. After last week's performance, I have faith that he can reproduce that effort at home. On the road, I'm still not sold on him. Jason Campbell, on the other hand, has been exactly the type of quarterback the Redskins needed. He's thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions, with plenty of his throws coming in the clutch.

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Running Back

When healthy, the Redskins would get the edge here due to both talent and depth. Clinton Portis, probably the league's most consistent rusher the past several seasons, is having another terrific season. Even in last week's loss to the Rams, he failed to disappoint. His hip injury shouldn't slow him down too much this week, but it adds to the chances that we'll see a "slow" Shaun Alexander in the game. Jamal Lewis will be tested against the league's sixth-best run defense, and much of his success will depend on Anderson getting things going early on. Getting Jerome Harrison involved for the third straight game is key as well, and this time I'd actually like to see Jason Wright get a screen pass sprinkled in to him.

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Receiver

As opposed to the past, the Redskins have gotten better overall production from their receivers this season. Santana Moss, Chris Cooley, and Antwan Randle El have combined for a pretty solid starting unit. Each of them have at least 300 yards receiving and a touchdown, but after that, there are no viable options. If the Browns' starting secondary continues to match up well, we won't have to worry about our lack of depth at nickel back. On the other side, Braylon Edwards appeared to be "back" last week, Donte Stallworth's presence alone appeared to benefit everybody else, and Kellen Winslow should be back. What else could you ask for (technically, you could ask for Jurevicius back).

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Offensive Line

The Giants' defensive line is meant to wreck havoc on everybody -- no exceptions. That changed last week with an offensive line that included Ryan Tucker at right tackle for the first time this season. The only issue that needs to be fixed is the amount of penalties, but if we have trouble at home, chances are we'll have trouble on the road. The Redskins don't have a lot of holes on the offensive line, but they are a little bit on the downside right now. Offensive guard Pete Kendall is nursing a knee injury but is expected to play and left tackle Chris Samuels will play with an ankle injury. The Redskins are asking a lot to hope both of those guys play at the top of their game, which gives Cleveland the edge. Also, starting right tackle Jon Jansen is being benched.

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Defensive Line

With Shaun Smith out again, it's going to be tough for our defensive line to go up against Portis. The Giants ran the draw play very well against us last week, and a major reason for that was because Shaun Rogers cannot play every series (in order to keep him fresh). The Redskins are built on putting together long drives, and that will fatigue our defensive line. None of the Redskins have individually put up flashy stats, but Andre Carter is the man the team has to keep contained. Jason Taylor is expected to play, and while he's not in his prime, he provides extra leadership to get the unit fired up in certain situations.

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Linebacker

It's at the point where the only two linebackers worth watching on the Browns are D'Qwell Jackson and Alex Hall. The other guys could be taken off the field without substitution and still produce the same results. London Fletcher is a heck of a linebacker for the Redskins though, and the type of player I'd love to have on the Browns. Washington's linebackers love to hit hard to try and jar the football loose, so ball security will be extra important for Jamal Lewis and any of our receivers catching quick passes over the middle.

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Secondary

The Browns' secondary has grown from potentially laughable to extremely respectable, as I am giving them the "edge" for the first time this season. Sean Jones will be returning to a unit that has played very well even without him, meaning moving a guy like Mike Adams down on the depth chart can only improve our depth. More than anything, I look for Jones to have a big impact on safety blitzes, taking advantage of the Redskins' shakiness on the offensive line right now. The Redskins see all of their cornerbacks banged up right now, and that cannot be good news against a Browns aerial attack with a lot of potential again.

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Special Teams

It's been so long since Joshua Cribbs has had a game-changing return. The defense has played well this year and the offense "came back" last week, so will this be the week that Cribbs breaks one? The Redskins don't have a prolific kick returner, but the part of special teams that really hurts them is at the punter position. After cutting Derrick Frost in the offseason, Durant Brooks has only averaged a meager 39.6 yards per boot.


FINAL PREDICTION:
Cleveland Browns 24, Washington Redskins 21.
Initially after our win over the Giants, I was still ready to pick the Redskins to beat us due to being on the road. As the week has gone by though, the X-factors have changed. The Browns are getting a full complement of healthy players back again, while the Redskins are hoping all of their injuries in the secondary don't haunt them this week. It won't haunt them at first as Anderson will get off to a slow start on the road again, but halftime adjustments of taking more chances down the field will make the difference in a close game.

This is the official gameday topic for the Cleveland Browns in Week 7 as they battle the Washington Redskins. All comments regarding the game should be posted in this topic. Enjoy the game, and GO BROWNS!!!

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