The NFL made the decision to move the game from Buffalo to Detroit due to an extreme snowstorm that has dropped several feet of snow on the Buffalo area. So with the Lions having an away game this week, the Browns and the Bills will play in the comfort of the enclosed Ford Field.
The Bills, who spent much of the first half of the season being considered by many as a lock for the Super Bowl, come into the game riding a two-game losing streak and sitting in third place in the AFC East Division.
The Browns are likewise a third-place team in their own division but under much different circumstances. Cleveland may have seen its last chance at having a relevant season slip away in last week’s loss to the Miami Dolphins, but nothing is over until it is over.
Here is everything you need to know as the Browns and the Bills tangle in Detroit.
Records: Cleveland is 3-6. Buffalo is 6-3.
Kickoff: 1 p.m.
Stadium: Ford Field in Detroit
Announcers: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, Amanda Renner (sidelines)
Radio: ESPN 850, 92.3 The Fan, 98.5 WNCX
Announcers: Jim Donovan, Nathan Zegura, Jerod Cherry (sidelines)
Last meeting: The Browns won the last game between the two teams, 19-16, in Week 10 of the 2019 season.
All-time series: The Browns lead the all-time regular season series 12-9. Cleveland might be catching a small break with the game being moved as they have lost their last three trips to Buffalo by an average of 14 points a game.
Uniform: The Browns might not be playing well but they will once again be looking good in white jerseys and orange pants.
Weather: No issues as Ford Field is enclosed
Injury report: Browns - Questionable: tight end David Njoku (ankle) and cornerback Greg Newsome II (head). Out: defensive back D’Anthony Bell (concussion), guard Michael Dunn (back) and defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey (head). Bills - Questionable: cornerback Kaiir Elam (ankle), fullback Reggie Gilliam (illness) and safety Jordan Poyer (elbow). Out: linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (groin/heel) wide receiver Jake Kumerow (ankle), defensive end Greg Rousseau (ankle).
The line: Browns +7.5 (Draft Kings)
A Few Things to Watch
Advantage … Cleveland?: There is nothing more that people like to talk about with the Browns than distractions, both real and imagined. But this week the distractions may actually favor the Browns.
Reminder that the Bills will now go into Sunday's game in Detroit with just one normal day of practice this week. They did not have their normal practice Wednesday due to the illness a number of players were dealing with. https://t.co/eEoKY69QrZ— Alaina Getzenberg (@agetzenberg) November 18, 2022
While Cleveland had a normal week of practice and were able to take a leisurely bus trip to Detroit, the Bills have been dealing with several issues, ranging from players missing practice due to illness, an inability to actually hold a practice because of the weather, and having to find a way to escape the winter hellscape that is currently Buffalo and make it to Detroit in time for the game.
If there was ever an opportunity for the Browns to take advantage of another team and pull off a surprising win, Sunday’s game against the Bills looks to be a prime chance.
A continuing weakness: Cleveland’s defense has yet to meet an opposing running attack that they can’t make better and this week may be no exception.
The Bills come into the game third in the NFL with an average of 5.3 yards per carry and averaging 129.8 rushing yards per game. Quarterback Josh Allen is Buffalo’s leading rusher with 476 yards so it is not as if the team is a powerhouse when it comes to running the ball, but that has made little difference to a Cleveland defense that game up 195 rushing yards to a Miami team that was barely averaging 90 yards a game prior to facing the Browns.
Even with his sore elbow, Allen presents enough of a challenge in the passing game, and if the Browns can’t keep the running game in check it will be another long afternoon.
On the other hand …: Cleveland running back Nick Chubb had his second-lowest rushing total of the year last week against the Dolphins, but the game against the Bills presents an opportunity for Chubb to take over the game.
Through the first six weeks of the season, Buffalo’s defense was one of the league’s best against outside runs as they were limiting running backs to just 3.4 yards per carry and 2.5 yards per contact on runs outside of the tackles. But since Week 8, the Bills have been among the league’s worst on those type of runs, according to buffalobills.com.
Enter Chubb, who leads the league in rushing yards (793), rushing touchdowns (eight), runs of more than 10 yards (26) and rushing yards over expected (+280) on runs outside the tackles.
Cleveland might not have many advantages against the Bills, but if they can get Chubb rolling to the outside they might have a chance to pull off the upset.
- Wide receiver Amari Cooper, who leads the Browns in receiving yards, receptions and touchdowns, has posted three 100-yard receiving games so far this year, the most by a Cleveland receiver since Jarvis Landry had four in 2018.
- The Browns have 1,067 rushing yards after contact, which heading into this weekend’s games puts them ahead of the total rushing yards of 15 other teams.
- Cleveland is 11-2 in games where they do not turn the ball over since the start of the 2020 season.
- Wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones is riding a six-game streak of having at least 50 receiving yards, tied with Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings for the third-longest active streak in the league.
- The Browns are just 1-12 all-time in Detroit, although those games were against the Lions.
A Final Quote
Head coach Kevin Stefanski on criticism of defensive coordinator Joe Woods (quote via a team-provided transcript):
“As we have talked about before, as coaches, we really keep our head down and focus on trying to get better. I see that from Joe (Woods). I see that from all of our coaches. I see that from our team. You obviously want to make sure that you are doing everything you can to go find ways to win football games. You have to grind, the game is a grind and the week is a grind. That is kind of where we are.”
Those are just a few things to keep an eye on; now it is time to have your say. What are you looking for from the Browns in Sunday’s game against the Bills?