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Cleveland Browns vs. Buffalo Bills - Official Game Thread

Date: November 17, 2008 Location: Orchard Park, NY
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Stadium: Ralph Wilson Stadium
TV: ESPN (Local FOX)
Favorite: Bills by 5
Radio: WMMS, 100.7 FM Over/Under: 40
SBN Coverage: Buffalo Rumblings Announcers Horrible MNF Trio

I had a much nicer introduction and preview written up for this game, but apparently my clicking of the save button didn't work properly, because it was gone when I came back to it.

After losing twice within a span of five days when having multiple-possession leads in the second half of games, the Cleveland Browns have had awhile to regroup. In essence, it ends up being a second bye week for the team. If our record had been better than 3-6, that might have meant something. Instead, we're just hoping that Brady Quinn will play well again and lead the Browns to victory. Let's get right into this week's preview with the overall team statistics thus far...


Category Browns Bills
Points Scored 19.1 (25th) 29.3 (21st)
Passing 180.4 (27th) 213.8 (13th)
Rushing 101.0 (22nd) 90.0 (28th)
Total Offense (yards) 281.4 (27th) 303.8 (24th)


Category Browns Bills
Points Scored 21.5 (15th) 21.0 (13th)
Passing 226.9 (22nd) 205.3 (14th)
Rushing 145.2 (27th) 103.9 (13th)
Total Defense (yards) 372.1 (26th) 309.2 (13th)



The Bills have not seen an A+ performance out of Trent Edwards this year. The former third-round draft pick started off the season managing games well, but he has not been very effective the past three weeks. During that stretch, Edwards has thrown 2 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Brady Quinn definitely has more upside overall, but this will be his first road start of the season. To be fair, I can't rank him as a superstar just yet.


Running Back

One of the bigger disappointments this season at the running back positions has to be Marshawn Lynch. His season has been very similar to that of Jamal Lewis' -- several "ok" games, but he has not reached the 100-yard mark or thrived against division opponents. When the Bills needed him most the past two weeks against the Jets and Patriots, he has combined for 62 yards on 23 carries on the ground. The Browns need to work in Jerome Harrison on a more consistent basis; let's see if Romeo Crennel holds true to his word.



This was supposed to be a breakout season for WR Lee Evans, and he has quietly posted some fair statistics, still averaging an astounding 18.9 yards per catch this season. Maybe I'm off on this, but while fans around the league know that Braylon Edwards is having a down season, they'd probably project that his stats are still higher than Evans. That is not the case. Beyond Evans though, the Bills have the same problem they've had the past several years: there aren't any go-to-guys beyond him. Quinn established a solid relationship with Kellen Winslow and Donte Stallworth last week, and has an extra week of practice under his belt in working with them.


Offensive Line

The news has been better for left guard Eric Steinbach, although there isn't a definite word on his status tonight. The Bills improved their offensive line in the offseason and their ranking might have been higher had they not been part of a three game losing streak. Both teams are pretty even at blocking the run, but the Browns excel when it comes to protecting the passer.


Defensive Line

Corey Williams' shoulder has him listed as questionable again. Sooner or later, I'm definitely due on an article about how Williams has been a complete bust thus far. The Bills will still be without outstanding pass rusher Aaron Schobel on Monday Night, a big break for Brady Quinn. For the second week in a row, Quinn shouldn't feel the pressure too much.



Big change at the linebacker position this week: Shantee Orr is going to see some playing time. With that said, it only makes sense that rookie fourth-rounder Beau Bell will probably be inactive again. For the Bills, Kawika Mitchell and Paul Posluszny are two players I'd like the Browns to get their hands on, if we had the appropriate defensive system. The Bills aren't particularly lights out at linebacker, but they are a healthier and better-tackling unit that Denver was.



Cleveland's secondary has taken major steps backwards the past two weeks, but they are ones that we can recover from. Really, we've only been burned late in games -- hopefully Mel Tucker, being a defensive backs specialist, will find a better rotation by throwing Travis Daniels and Mike Adams into the mix more often.


Special Teams

Joshua Cribbs is back to the point where he can return a kick the distance every time he touches the ball. The Bills have a nearly equally dangerous returner in Roscoe Parrish, but like Cribbs earlier this season, Parrish is sort of in a "dry" spell period. Phil Dawson had two tremendous kicks in a snow bowl last season -- I think he'll be ready for some chilly weather in Buffalo.

FINAL PREDICTION: Cleveland Browns 20, Buffalo Bills 17.The kiss of death again, right? Had the Bills not looked so bad the past three weeks, I would've taken the Bills in this matchup. On the season though, Cleveland has never really played horrible football after the first three weeks. We beat a Jacksonville team on the road when they were on the same exact type of slump that Buffalo is on right now.

Quinn played a game last week, looking like he was managing a game plan. This week, he'll mentally be ready to score quicker and execute more often down the field in case he needs to keep up the scoring in a shootout.

This is the official gameday topic for the Cleveland Browns in Week 11 as they battle the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football. All comments regarding the game should be posted in this topic. Enjoy the game, and GO BROWNS!!!