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Oakland Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns - Official Game Thread

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The Browns brought in Mike Holmgren last week, much to the delight of the majority of fans.

Then, we found out that Brady Quinn was going on the injured reserve and that Derek Anderson would be back under center. Darn it! On a side note, snow is expected to fall throughout the game, though not too much.

OAKLAND RAIDERS (5-9) WEEK 16 CLEVELAND BROWNS (3-11)
VS.
Date: December 27, 2009 Location: Cleveland, OH
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Stadium: Browns Stadium
TV: CBS
Favorite: Browns by 3
Radio: WTAM, 1100 AM Over/Under: 37½
SBN Coverage: Silver and Black Pride Announcers Don Criqui &
Randy Cross

Position-by-Position Breakdown

Pos Adv Reason
QB - The most intriguing thing you can pull out of Derek Anderson's performance today is that for one of the first times in his career as a starter, he'll be running the no huddle type of offense. Charlie Frye has been praised by Tom Cable, but it would be embarrassing if he came back to light up the Browns.
RB - Darren McFadden has been a big bust so far for the Raiders (much like most of their draft picks), but Michael Bush is starting to shine -- many Browns fans have been dying for a trade that would bring him to Cleveland. Jerome Harrison had an unbelievable game last week; can he at least crack 100 yards today?
WR - Darrius Heyward-Bey, a first-round draft pick for the Raiders, has 9 catches for 124 yards to go along with a ton of drops. Pathetic. Tight end Zach Miller is very good though, and wide receiver Louis Murphy has come on as of late as really the team's only other receiver. Chansi Stuckey and Evan Moore should offer Anderson some more receiving threats.
OL - Quinn made the offensive line give up a lot of sacks during his first run as a starter, but drastically improved during his second stretch as the starter. Anderson at the time did a better job getting rid of the ball, but it ended up not leading to solid production. Will Anderson look comfortable in the pocket when the Raiders bring the blitz in the no huddle?
DL - Another Al Davis head-scratcher: trading a first-round pick for Richard Seymour when the team really wasn't ready to compete this season. We're also facing another former Brown today, and that is "Big Money" Gerard Warren. DE Greg Ellis has 7 sacks on the year, including two last week against the Broncos.
LB - The Raiders' defense is near the bottom of the league at stopping the run. Much like the Browns' unit, the tandem of Kirk Morrison, Trevor Scott, and Thomas Howard don't really have any stars on it, although Scott has proven effective as of late as a pass rusher. Today, I want to see Kamerion Wimbley have a breakout game against the mobile Charlie Frye.
DB - Brandon McDonald's deteriorating performances down the stretch this season have increased the need for a cornerback in the offseason. It might sound redundant, but Nnamdi Asomugha is a very good corner; it's just the rest of the unit isn't too stacked.
ST - We already know what Joshua Cribbs can do, but if he breaks a return this week, he'll have an extra tackler to worry about up the field: the kicker and the punter. Not only is punter Shane Lechler a monster with his punts, he can tackle like a linebacker. Sebastian Janikowski has been solid this year, having his best year (84.1%) since 2004 in terms of accuracy.


Can the Browns make it three wins in a row? I don't see Anderson leading us to a win, but I also don't see Frye beating us. I think Anderson will work well enough with the no huddle offense after Jerome Harrison's runs and Joshua Cribbs' increased role from the Wildcat, and if he can execute a red zone touchdown pass or two to Evan Moore, we can come away with another home victory.

FINAL PREDICTION: Cleveland Browns 21, Oakland Raiders 17.
CHRIS' RECORD IN PICKING BROWNS GAMES: 11-3
CHRIS' OVERALL NFL PREDICTIONS RECORD: 160-65

This is the official gameday thread for the Cleveland Browns in Week 16 as they get set to do battle with the Oakland Raiders. All comments regarding the game should be posted in this thread. Enjoy the game, and GO BROWNS!!!