How the Browns Can Keep it Rolling vs. the Broncos:
It was a tough road win, but the Browns were able to pull it out last week. This contest will be another difficult one – facing one of the best defenses does not help. The Browns have not defeated Peyton Manning, but perhaps the team can finally break through and defeat the soon-to-be Hall of Famer. Let’s see what needs to happen for the home team to pull out a victory.
1 – Don’t Give up the Big Plays
This point should be extremely apparent, but Peyton Manning has made his career off extremely long gains in his career. Instead of heaving deep post routes to Reggie Wayne, the signal caller is watching his rushing attack of Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson bolt for over fifty yards on a somewhat consistent basis. If the Browns’ defense can prevent these things from happening, they have a shot of knocking off the Broncos. I cannot see Manning dinking and dunking his way to many points and few turnovers.
2 – This isn’t Peyton Manning from the 2000s
The wily veteran is beginning to show his age on the football field. This refers to the quarterback (finally) throwing passes off target and even to the opposition. The Browns must take advantage of this if they ever want to beat the Hall of Famer. Interceptions will come from pressure upfront, so it will not be an easy task – but if the home team can make it happen than this will be an extremely close contest. I don’t see Manning making mistakes late in this contest, so when present early the Browns cannot let them slip through their fingers.
3 – Go Head-to-Head with Their Defense
Facing one of the better defenses in the league, the Browns cannot afford to cower in fear of the unit. Too many times in the past this franchise played it extra conservatively when facing the Steelers or Ravens in the past – and the result did not turn out the way the Browns wanted. I understand the coaching staff wants to limit mistakes, but if they do not attempt to go for the big play they will be forced to settle for field goals (and those won’t beat the Broncos). The bottom line should be, fight physical play with even more physical play.
4 – Back to Fundamentals
This aspect just implies beating offensive linemen off the snap, shedding blocks, and tackling running backs. The Browns have been less than consistent in this department, and getting on track would help tremendously in this matchup. Forcing the Broncos’ offense to fight for every inch – be it in the passing or rushing game – should hopefully wear down a few guys later in the contest. Usher in a fresh (or at least relatively fresh) defensive line, and the Browns might have the advantage late in this contest.
5 – Jump out Ahead and Make it Loud
Like the Titans game (and unlike the Raiders game), the Browns need to come out and grab an early lead. This puts the game in the hands of the fans – by making it loud and difficult for the Broncos’ offense to execute. The home team is designed to garner leads and make opponents pay by having to slow down their rushing attack. While that has not always been the case so far in 2015; the Browns still have this blueprint on a weekly basis.
Conclusion: This is another contest where the Browns will have to be nearly perfect to pull out a win. I would be (pleasantly) surprised if that were to occur, but the football Gods do not want to see Peyton Manning lose to a team in orange in brown. I hope that changes, but we shall see if that finally occurs.