Earning Their Third Victory – The Cleveland Browns
It’s been a rough season up to this point, and now the Browns face a rival in the Ravens on Monday night. It would be pretty sweet if they can sweep a series within the AFC North for the first time in many years. However, the fans, the media, and maybe even players appear to be down on the orange and brown. Tickets are cheap for this game, but despite the lack of attention – I think the franchise can rise up and get a win. If they can do the below, there’s a chance.
1 – Keep it Simple on Defense
According to quarterback Carson Palmer of the Arizona Cardinals, the Cleveland Browns have one of the most complex defenses in this league. While that’s nice to hear, they are having their issues in stopping opponents. I hope the reason for this, is due to the fact that they are making things too difficult for the athletes on the field. Limit the game plan and let the players do what they can do best for this defense. They might not be dominant, but they will know where to be on most (if not all) plays.
2 – Have Faith in McCown
Johnny has progressed pretty well over the past few weeks, but by demoting the quarterback for partying – the team has determined that he is not the guy going forward. Therefore, the franchise should all have the back of the guy who is taking the job seriously. Is McCown a great signal caller? No, but he is a tremendous teammate and has won games in this league (including the Ravens).
3 – See What Duke can Do
I would like to see what the rookie running back could do with extended playing time (and more importantly touches). Johnson should be able move the chains when given an opportunity to rush the football – hopefully the guys upfront can help him during plays. I have confidence in his ability as a receiver, but if wide outs can excel then Johnson can garner coverage against a guy who is less than exceptional. Nonetheless, I want to see Duke move the ball via both the ground and air.
4 – Focus on the Offensive Line
It all starts with getting a push upfront – the Browns have not been able to do it and wins have been an issue as a result. I have been extremely disappointed in this part of the team, especially with the resources that have been put into this part of the team. However, the coaching staff must determine how best to utilize the five guys upfront and allow the athletes behind them to move the ball forward without resistance.
5 – Synchronize the Secondary
I don’t care if it’s all four starters or several reserve secondary members filling in for this secondary, the Browns cannot afford to look embarrassing when trying to cover wide outs. Charles Gaines and Ibraheim Campbell are two guys who are finally getting shots with this defense but are experiencing growing pains. I would like to think that they are improving – this game would be a good opportunity to confirm this.
Conclusion: This is another winnable contest for the Cleveland Browns, but I have no idea whether they pull it out. The way that the defense is playing does not inspire any confidence and I cannot see any type of improvement. I think the Browns will come up short once again, but us fans should not be surprised at this point.