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Regular Season Game 4 - Cleveland Browns vs. Oakland Raiders

Let's face it: if we don't win today, the season is over. This isn't only a game that the Browns should win, it's a game that we must win. The Raiders have been the laughingstock of the NFL after three weeks, while the Browns have gotten a small amount of respect due to having to face three 3-0 teams, and almost upsetting the Baltimore Ravens last week. If the Browns lose this one, I can't imagine how bad I'll feel after the game. It's better to think positive though, so let's get to the breakdown of today's game. Today's game starts at 4:05 PM EST.
- Quarterback
Charlie Frye had his coming out party last week, torching the Ravens' defense for most of the game, despite being under fire for most of the game. Braylon Edwards finally had a consistent game, while Winslow could be our first offensive Pro Bowler since the return to the league. Andrew Walter is making his first career start, but he did play almost the entire game against the Baltimore Ravens before the bye. Walter was under pressure all day, three picks, and fumbled numerous times. Frye clearly has the advantage.
- Running Back
It's pretty easy to rank both of these teams as even, since both running game systems have been almost non-existent to begin the season. Reuben Droughns was out last week, and will be making his return against the Raiders. LaMont Jordan has talent, but has been caught up in a bad offensive line situation and all-around system. Both teams rank in the bottom of the league in this category, and if this is the position that decides the difference in the game, it'll be a surprise.
- Receiver
Don't be fooled by the presence of Randy Moss on the Raiders, who has also struggled as a result of the Raiders' offensive struggles. The Jerry Porter story has made things worse, and trading talented receiver Doug Gabriel just didn't make much sense. The Browns will see the return of Joe Jurevicius, and have more offensive weapons with Edwards and Winslow. The depth on the Browns is much better than the Raiders, and this should be the most overmatched position of the game.
- Offensive Line
Although the Raiders' offensive line has been really bad in terms of giving up sacks, the Browns have given up just as many. It'll be interesting to see whether these winless teams will actually hold up against another winless team. Neither team has blocked well enough in the running game either, but if you're looking for a slight advantage, it should be the Browns.
- Defensive Line
The Browns will see the return of Orpheus Roye this week, and know they have a heck of a player in backup Simon Fraser. The Raiders lost Ted Washington in the offseason and will regret having to go up against him this week. Derrick Burgess is a big-time threat for the Raiders in getting pressure off the end, but the Raiders don't bring the blitz from linebackers very often. This will suit the Browns better, since their struggles have come with pressure created by opposing linebackers.
- Linebacker
The Browns linebacking group is getting better, as shown by their ability to stop Jamal Lewis last week. They will feast off of the Raiders' inexperience on offense and try to bring pressure on Andrew Walter all game long. The Raiders don't stack up as well in terms of depth, and will have trouble finding someone to cover Kellen Winslow all day long.
- Secondary
Without Gary Baxter in the lineup, we again saw an opposing quarterback tear apart the starter besides Leigh Bodden. Our safeties have proved to play better than expected so far, and with the exception of the void at cornerback, the unit has been strong. The Raiders have two, talented young former first-rounders at cornerback, with rookie Michael Huff as safety. The Raiders have the talent in the secondary, but still need more experience to become a shut-down type of team.
- Special Teams
Honestly, don't expect the Browns to ever be on the opposing side of this category. Although Joshua Cribbs seems to have lost some pop in his returns, Northcutt is doing well on punt returns, Dave Zadtudil is getting punts downed within the twenty, and Phil Dawson is having a career year on kickoffs it seems. The Raiders have a powerful left-footed kicker in Sebastian Janikowski, so we may see some more of the dreaded 50-yard field goals against us.
FINAL PREDICTION: Cleveland Browns 26, Oakland Raiders 3.
Many people are expecting this to be a close game, especially since the Raiders had an extra week to prepare for the game. Unfortunately, if you suck, then you suck. The Raiders have clearly been the worst team in football, and have not shown too many signs of positive hope during their first two games, as well as last year. The Raiders defense is ok, but will not bring the type of pressure Frye has seen against teams like the Saints and the Ravens. The score seems drastic for us being 0-3, so we'll just have to see how things go down. This is the official gameday thread for today's game. Any comments you would like to make before, during, or after the game should be placed into this thread. Enjoy the game, and GO BROWNS!