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Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cleveland Browns - Official Game Thread

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The Browns have won three straight games. While the Jaguars' playoff hopes are slim, they still have some life nonetheless. Can they recover from their three game losing streak to keep their miracle hopes alive?

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (7-8) WEEK 17 CLEVELAND BROWNS (4-11)
VS.
Date: January 3, 2010 Location: Cleveland, OH
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Stadium: Browns Stadium
TV: CBS
Favorite: Browns by 1
Radio: WTAM, 1100 AM Over/Under: 36
SBN Coverage: Big Cat Country Announcers Gus Johnson & Steve Tasker

Position-by-Position Breakdown

Pos Adv Reason
QB - The Jaguars have been known as a running football team for the past several years, but sooner or later they are going to need an upgrade at the quarterback position to put games away. Garrard is a threat to run, and if the Browns overpursue trying to sack him, he will try to take advantage of that with his feet.
RB - This is a really tough ranking to make. Obviously Maurice Jones-Drew has proven himself as one of the league's best for several years now. Jerome Harrison has only had a string of two great games, but I'm evaluating the position this week based on the impact they'll have on each team's offense. In the snow/wind, both teams will be run-heavy and effective.
WR - The Jaguars are not strong at the receiver position, but the Browns are still amongst the bottom in the league in lack of consistent threats. WR Torry Holt and TE Marcedes Lewis, the team's second- and third-receivers, are out with injuries after playing every other game. All they have is Mike Sims-Walker, who has struggled as of late. Normally, the Jaguars have the edge. This week, it's even.
OL - Jerome Harrison has given the offensive line and Lawrence Vickers the credit they deserve. The blocking they have had, especially considering the lack of threat that Derek Anderson provides, has made their blocking even more so impressive. The Jaguars struggle getting to the quarterback, so DA should be well protected in the pocket when he does pass.
DL - The Jaguars are ranked fairly well at stopping the run, and a reason for that is the big bulk up front in John Henderson (6'7", 335 pounds). Will we be seeing a guy like Corey Williams playing his final game as a member of the Browns?
LB - Matt Roth and David Bowens have combined for the clutch playmaking ability the Browns have needed. David Veikune was placed on injured reserve though, so it's confirmed that we'll have learned nothing about his abilities this season.
DB - As Ryan Kelsey pointed out this week, the Jaguars are ranked dead last in the league at defending the pass. How is that possible? Part of it has to do with the fact that Rashean Mathis being hurt throughout the season; he is OUT this week as well.
ST - Josh Scobee has struggled at kicks this season, only making 57.5% of his kicks. In the snow, I'd bank on Jacksonville going for it on fourth downs when in range for 40+ yarders. Jacksonville has yet to have a return go for a touchdown this season. Cribbs deserves to receive a new contract after the game.


Four games in a row seems like an unfathomable concept after the way this team started the season (1-11). The weather conditions today are going to be blizzard-like, and I am going to absolutely love that as a fan. The wind is going to be gusting like crazy, and by the second half, there could be white-out conditions. It should be a run-heavy game, but both teams will take their shots down the field because it's also impossible to ignore both teams' defensive struggles in the secondary.

FINAL PREDICTION: Cleveland Browns 17, Jacksonville Jaguars 14.
CHRIS' RECORD IN PICKING BROWNS GAMES: 12-3
CHRIS' OVERALL NFL PREDICTIONS RECORD: 169-71

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!!!