Looking to Knock off the Bucs


Five Things that Should Help the Browns Beat the Buccaneers

Following a mediocre victory last week, the Browns have another contest where they are expected to win at home.  Nothing is given in the NFL, and the home team will have to put together a solid outing by theirboffense, defense, and special teams to earn their fifth win of the
season.  Let’s take a gander at five things that will greatly help out the orange and brown on Sunday.

#1 – Pound that Rock

Since Alex Mack succumbed to injury, the rushing attack has suffered immensely.  Regardless of who was at right guard or center, the Browns have not figured out the best way to continue their stellar run game displayed earlier in the season.  I look for Kyle Shanahan to devise a game plan that provides opportunities for Ben Tate and at least one rookie to make life easier for the offense.  Hopefully that will make third down conversions all the easier for Brian Hoyer.

#2 – Continue that Trend of Turning Over Opponent

After splitting games with two rookies and forcing several turn overs, the orange and brown face a second-year signal quarterback Mike Glennon.  It could be more difficult facing a guy who only has four interceptions so far – but the Browns’ defense is become more and more opportunistic.  Whether it’s via an interception or a strip of a ball carrier, the Browns need to steal away possessions by the opponent.

#3 – Wall off those Rushers

Finally, there were not athletes blowing by the Browns’ defense last week.  This trend must continue for the home squad to have success but it will be a tough task.  A talented pair of athletes in Doug Martin and Bobby Rainey will have their opportunities, but Ahtyba Rubin, Desmond Bryant, and Billy Winn (if he plays) must dominate at the line of scrimmage.  If the Buccaneers are forced to throw the ball, the Browns should feel confident – but that is easier said than done.

#4 – Prove that Last Sunday Was Not a Fluke

Overall, the secondary had a tremendous outing against the Raiders.  Tashaun Gipson had an interception, Joe Haden and Donte Whitner combined for an ever-important fumble recovery, and Justin Gilbert finally made some plays against the pass.  Now is the perfect chance to repeat this type of performance, and prove they are a consistent group.  I would love to see this continue, and hopefully they are up to the task.

#5 – Make Special Teams Special

The punt returning aspect of special teams has been rough to watch. Guys have been tackled early on during plays, and (worst of all) have given possession back to the opponent.  If the Browns can make this area solid (like it has typically been), the team overall will have a greater chance of success.  Flipping the field and making it easier on the offense could be the difference between a close outcome and one where the Browns lead by several scores.

Conclusion:  I expect the Browns to be victorious in this contest, but also feel they will play much improved than they did in the two previous outings.  Hopefully they can accomplish the five tasks above and dominate the visiting club; but fans should envision a close contest.

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