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Chicago Bears vs. Cleveland Browns - Official Game Thread

Game: Chicago Bears(1-2) vs. Cleveland Browns(2-1)
Where: Cleveland Browns Stadium (Cleveland, OH)
When: 8:00 PM EST (Browns Pre-game for Cleveland viewers is at 7:00 PM)

I am not putting out a projected lineup for tonight's game, because the starters will hardly see any action. Plus, it wouldn't be too big of a surprise if several starters didn't even start, which would make a lineup projection useless. Unlike other weeks, the starters will not be the focus this week. Sure, it would be nice for Charlie Frye and company to drive down the field and score. However, if it doesn't turn out that way, then there's nothing you can do about it. Teams aren't expected to score on every single drive, so it's not really a "bad" thing if the Browns don't score with the first unit.
What We're Looking For:
  • Quarterbacks: Have Frye be cautious in terms of his health. The Bears' defenders hit hard, and if Frye tries to make a meaningless play out of nothing, it could end up costing him. That's fine for the regular season, but in the final preseason game, I wouldn't care if he threw the ball away instead. Derek Anderson and Ken Dorsey will see most of the action during the game, and there's a slight chance of Darrell Hackney seeing a few plays. I'm looking for Anderson to hopefully be the first quarterback after Frye, because he's earned his shot to face a second-string defense. Let's see if Dorsey can put up better numbers against the third-stringers, like Anderson did.

  • Running Backs: There is no sense in using Reuben Droughns after the first series, and don't expect Jerome Harrison to see more time than he needs to see either. After an absence last week, Lee Suggs should be involved in some plays this week, unless the team has him locked in as the third back and are keeping him healthy for the regular season. William Green or Jason Wright will rotate a fair amount of the time if Suggs does not play again. One battle that is still going on involves Corey McIntyre, the fullback. He's trying to make the team on special teams, but will have a tough time beating tight end Darnell Dinkins.

  • Tight Ends: Winslow has been relatively quiet in the preseason, so there's no need for the Browns to exploit the playbook now. Steve Heiden will probably play most of the game at the tight end position, since he's used to playing full games during the regular season after the past couple of seasons. Although Dinkins had solid credentials as a special teams player coming in, he could be a surprise cut if the coaches want to keep Frisman Jackson or McIntyre instead.

  • Offensive Line: The Browns still have veteran linemen Lennie Friedman on their roster, despite confusion a few days ago. He will see extended action at the position, while the rookie Rob Smith will try to prove that he deserves a roster spot. Besides Smith though, it's pretty much known which linemen will make the team. It was originally thought that Ryan Tucker would play a series or two tonight, but the Browns will be keeping him out until the regular season.

  • Defensive Linemen: The starters are all set, but you have to wonder if someone between Ethan Kelley, Nick Eason, and Simon Fraser will be cut. The Browns may choose to carry an extra linebacker instead of an extra defensive lineman, and with Babatunde Oshinowo unlikely to be released, someone between the other three could be gone.

  • Linebackers: The Browns are absolutely stacked at linebacker, and several players will be competing for a special teams/backup linebacker job if the Browns choose to keep only six defensive lineman. The primary men that are competing are Mason Unck and Nick Speegle, both of whom did very well on special teams. Although the Plain Dealer speculated on David McMillian possibly getting cut, I highly doubt that would happen. He hasn't been as good as he was in his first game, but Kamerion Wimbley and Willie McGinest have simply begun to see more playing time.

  • Defensive Backs: Out of all the starters, Ralph Brown could be the one who actually plays past the first series, since he's not really a "starter". He is still fighting for his job too, because he hasn't made this team by any means. If someone shows that they can cover a receiver on a deep ball without allowing the big play, that could be the difference between making the team and getting cut. I'd like to see Daven Holley thrown at, because I believe he's done rather well so far, but hasn't gotten in enough. Sean Jones has the safety job still according to the coaches, but it's still up in the air as to whether or not Brodney Pool should get the chance instead.

  • Special Teams: This is the first week the Browns do not have multiple kickers and punters on the roster, so this is actually a "full test" for the kickers and the punters around the league. Phil Dawson has shown some extra power in his leg this year, but I'd like to see Dave Zastudil get the ball inside the 10-yard line a little more often. Quite a few of his punts are sailing into the end zone.
Last week, I predicted that the Browns would win 28-13, and we ended up winning 20-17. The Bears will probably play Kyle Orton most of the game at quarterback, but the game can go either way when backups are playing most of the time. I'm predicting that the Browns lose 20-17, the opposite score from last week's game. Don't read into the prediction too much though; I'm picking against the Browns just to see how it feels to predict that we'll lose :-x This is the official gameday thread, so post your game thoughts in this thread. Don't forget to vote for Dawgs By Nature every hour in the Sports Illustrated poll, which you can find a link to at the top of this page.