Earning that Victory in Heniz Field – Can the Browns do it?
Another road divisional game awaits the Cleveland Browns this Sunday. Yet again they are predicted to not win; but perhaps they can finally end their dismal losing streak. In order for that to happen, the Browns must finally play like a team and all be on the same page. Oh, and doing the five things below would be a good idea as well.
1 – Let Johnny be Johnny
This is under the assumption that Manziel is under center for this contest (otherwise, a win with McCown would include smart football with several touchdowns and no turnovers). Johnny should not be limited to the pocket; sure being there a majority of plays is vital – but the coaching staff should let him escape and find targets who break free. Heck, Manziel’s others do that, and it tends to work.
2 – Continue to Run the Ball
The past few games saw fewer rushes by the Browns in the second half – and the results have not been positive. I liked the two-back system, and clearly Ray Farmer agrees. The team should employ Duke Johnson as a slot receiver early on then utilize both he and Isaiah Crowell between the tackles. Even if success is not apparent early the team must still go to the well.
3 – Squeeze the Middle of the Field
This refers to the front seven of the defense. Le’Veon Bell is out for the season with an injury, and Deangelo Williams cannot hit the edge as quickly as the starting back. Therefore, the Browns’ defense should crowd the center of the field and clamp down on runs between the tackles. Of course this is easier said than done, but this running attack might be the worst unit they have seen in many weeks.
4 – Play the Youngsters
Johnny Manziel, Duke Johnson, Xavier Cooper, Ibraheim Campbell, and even Justin Gilbert – these are a few of the young members on the team who are finally starting to see some playing time. They might make mistakes but they were drafted because of their talent – call me a gambler but I believe these guys can make some plays for both the offense and defense. Not having a tremendous amount of game film on them should be an advantage for the Browns as well. (Plus the team needs to be evaluated going into the offseason.)
5 – Play Turnover-Free
This is a given and extremely obvious, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Manziel took care of the ball last contest, and I believe he can continue that trend this week. Hopefully the defense can force the opposing signal caller to make a costly mistake or two in this matchup. Giving the ball to the black and yellow should all but kill hopes of a win for the Cleveland Browns.
Conclusion: Once again I have relatively little faith the Browns can put it all together and win this contest. However, I will still be pulling for them and hoping they can score the upset. And if they can execute in key areas then maybe they can finally get off this rough losing streak.