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Miami Dolphins vs. Cleveland Browns

Game: Miami Dolphins (0-5) vs. Cleveland Browns (2-3)
Where: Cleveland Browns Stadium (Cleveland, OH)
When: 1:00 PM EST
Announcers: Ian Eagle/Soloman Wilcots (YES!)

Heading into the bye week, the Browns are facing one of the worst teams in football at home. Anything other than a win would be unacceptable to the tenth power against a Dolphins team that has been just as bad defensively as the Browns, and are without starting quarterback Trent Green indefinitely. Throughout the week, Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter has tried to fuel something -- what exactly I'm not sure -- with Kellen Winslow. Porter seems to think that a little run-in with Winslow back in his Steeler days should carry over to this week's game Fortunately, rather than providing bulletin board material for the Dolphins to thrive off of, it seems to be that Porter doesn't have too many followers in Miami. When the Browns walk all over him today, there's no need to make a big deal about a guy who has only made the Dolphins defense worse than years past. Let's get to the breakdown of this week's game...


Category Dolphins Browns
Points Scored 19.4 (18th) 25.2 (7th)
Passing 215.4 (17th) 238.4 (9th)
Rushing 103.4 (19th) 110.2 (16th)
Total Offense (yards) 318.8 (19th) 348.6 (8th)


Category Dolphins Browns
Points Scored 28.2 (28th) 30.4 (30th)
Passing 171.6 (3rd) 267.0 (31st)
Rushing 174.2 (31st) 157.4 (30th)
Total Defense (yards) 345.8 (24th) 424.4 (32nd)
- Quarterback
After a scary concussion for Trent Green last week, the Dolphins are forced to start six-year veteran backup quarterback Cleo Lemon today. If Lemon struggles early on, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw John Beck, the quarterback Miami chose to draft instead of Brady Quinn back in April. Derek Anderson's numbers at home are tremendous, with over a 100 quarterback rating and significantly more touchdowns than interceptions. And, for once, we can actually claim that Anderson has more on-the-field experience during live games than the opposing quarterback does. You can't like Lemon's chances without many proven receivers.
- Running Back
Ronnie Brown is on pace to have a career year for the Dolphins, as he is averaging 5.1 yards a carry. If the Dolphins weren't forced to throw the ball so many times after being behind early in games, Brown's numbers would only grow. As much of a threat as he is on the ground, he is equally a threat in the receiving game. He is tied for the team lead in receptions with 25 catches. For the Browns, running back Jamal Lewis has been ruled out after his foot injury last week. Wright has shown he can step in and fill the gap well enough for a week's time, but not having Lewis prevents us from wearing down the defense physically.
- Receiver
I think it's a complete joke that Ted Ginn Jr, the Dolphins' first-round draft choice, only has two catches this season. The team has taken way too long to involve him in the offense, although there's a chance that he could see more action against the Browns this week. Chris Chambers has yet to develop into a big-game receiver due to constant mediocre quarterback situations. The Browns should have Joe Jurevicius ready to return to action, but even if they don't, Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow are consistently averaging solid numbers against every defense they match up against.
- Offensive Line
The Browns get to say "hello" to L.J. Shelton this week, who is playing right tackle for the Dolphins this year. Miami's offensive line has been a problem in the past, much like the Browns', but they improved enough to only allow Green to be sacked seven times in five starts while providing blocking lanes for Ronnie Brown. The Browns' offensive line gave up two sacks last week against a tough Patriots defense, although I blame the coaching staff partially for that for inserting Ryan Tucker into the second quarter of the game.

Defensive Line
Although I still feel the Browns have the worst defensive line in football, I was actually considering marking this as an "even" category. Jason Taylor is getting older along with other members of Miami's defense, but he's still better than anyone on the Browns' defensive line. Miami is just as ineffective at stopping the run as the Browns are, but they have been able to get a little more pressure than the Browns have. I'm very curious to see if Louis Leonard gets any surprise playing time this week, but I'd expect him to be inactive. Ted Washington will probably be active again, but any moves we make on our line don't seem to make a difference.

- Linebacker
Joey Porter, take a seat courtesy of Kellen Winslow again. This guy really has no credibility in my mind because he doesn't talk trash to be competitive, he does it because he's a born asshole. Porter hasn't even made much of an impact this year for the Dolphins' defense, which is why Cam Cameron had to be happy to see Zach Thomas return to the lineup last week. The Texans weren't able to run the ball as effectively as they had envisioned with their backup running back (sound familiar this week?). This week, we need to see an emergence from Kamerion Wimbley. Cleo Lemon isn't used to evading pressure, which could force him into traps set by the Browns' defense.
- Secondary
Miami's secondary is ranked third in the league, but this is a case where it's not really a fair statement. It's similar to when the Browns were merely an average team in the secondary, only because teams would be wise and pound the football on the ground over and over. Neither team has made a mark with interceptions, as Miami and Cleveland have three picks a piece. If you're looking for another Cleveland Brown in this game, you should find the name "Michael Lehan" familiar, as he is the Dolphins' nickel/dime back. Gary Baxter won't return this week, meaning we'll have to wait until after the bye for another update on him.
- Special Teams
Phil Dawson could be a key contributor in this game at home (call it a hunch). With Scott Player being waived during the week, Dave Zastudil is ready to return to action. The Browns will have to be weary not to allow Ted Ginn Jr. to break a big play on special teams. Ginn hasn't had a "huge" return this season yet, but coming back home may fire him and his teammates up for a big play. Since Joshua Cribbs has provided actual results through the first five games though, it's safe to say that special teams continues to roll in the Browns' favor this week.
FINAL PREDICTION: Cleveland Browns 31, Miami Dolphins 17.
As soon as the Dolphins start getting some help back defensively, the offense takes a step back with the concussion suffered by Trent Green. Cleo Lemon will get the start this week against a Browns secondary that has individually been playing better as of late. The biggest match-up the Dolphins will try and exploit will be the Browns' run defense with Ronnie Brown, who is among the league leaders on the ground. The Browns will be without Jamal Lewis, but besides being able to run on the ground, Derek Anderson has the playmakers to beat Miami through the air.

This is the official gameday topic for the sixth game of the regular season, featuring the Cleveland Browns against the Miami Dolphins. All comments regarding the game should be posted in this topic. Enjoy the game, and GO BROWNS!!!