Thursday, September 20, 2007

Browns vs. Raiders Thoughts

The 1-1 Browns look to build upon their win last week at home versus Cincinnati travelling to the Black Hole to face off against the 0-2 Oakland Raiders. The Browns have not won 2 games in a row since 2003 and look to check off another box on their list of things they haven’t accomplished in a while; they got a Division win last week, and attempt to go to 2-1 in the process. This is a game the Browns SHOULD win, but due to their recent history it seems more daunting then it appears, with Vegas concurring as the Browns are currently a 3 point underdog.

Here are the things that concern me heading into this game:

LaMont Jordan – He has played the Browns twice in his career and both times has rushed for over 100 yards. He is 2-2 in rushing for 100 yards this season, versus Detroit and Denver. The Browns are 2-2 in allowing a 100 yard rusher this season; you’re welcome Willie Parker and Rudi Johnson. See a bit of a trend? Yes, because the Browns run D sucks and their D overall is allowing 39 PPG, which is not good.

Raiders Pass D – They had an off day last week against Denver but were among the league leaders in Pass D (and overall D) last year. They have play makers in the defensive backfield and generate pressure up front with their line. Derrick Burgess is a monster. After making it look easy against the Bengals, DA and the boys will have their work cut out for them this week.

West Coast Trip – Since their return in 1999, hell since forever, the Browns have traditionally struggled in West Coast games. Not uncommon for many teams but definitely something to consider.

Browns Pass D – Brodney Pool is still hurt after concussing himself. Mike Adams might need a cast on his wrist. Gary Baxter still, legally, does not have any knees. This leaves Sean Jones as the only healthy safety. Add the fact the Leigh Bodden still has a tender groin (don’t we all?) and the fact the Browns have given up 10 TD passes in 2 games and you’re looking at a potential problem. Jerry Porter and Ronald Curry are no slouches at WR.

Raiders are Mad – After getting horns-waggled out of a victory last week by Mike Shanahan and the Broncos, they Raiders should be feisty this week.

It’s not all gloom and doom as the Browns still have some thing going for them:

Momentum – Hey they only won 4 games last year, they have got to be psyched. They are ¼ the way there after only 2 games. You can do it! Seriously, the Browns showed what they are capable of last week, I don’t expect all of 51 points each week but they should be able to be effective.

Raiders QB Situation – Josh McNown in hurting but will start. Lane Kiffin says Duante Culpepper may play as well. If only I had a baseline to judge how a QB carousel could work out. Hold on, see 2003 and 2007 Browns. OK, this is a good thing. McNown looked awful last week and you don’t know what you will get with Culpepper. Neither is extremely mobile which plays into my next point.

Browns LBs – The Oakland OL is improved but still a work in progress. The Browns LBs are the most athletic group on the team and that could be a huge advantage. Antwaan Peek is nursing a sore foot but I expect he and Kamerion Wimbley to reek havoc all day. Throw in Mr. Everything Chaun Thompson here and there and we might actually see a few sacks from the Browns.

Just Run Baby – The Raiders have a good D but you can run on them. Pound away. Run behind Big Joe and Steinbach. Warren Sapp has never been a run stopper. They traded for former Brown, and piece of crap, Gerard Warren in the pre-season. This sets up the highly anticipated Big Money versus Human Parking Cone Kevin Shaffer match-up the world has been waiting for. Jamal Lewis showed us he still has some gas in the tank last week. Running him will help protect DA from the Raiders D and himself.

3 Point Dawgs – If I were the Browns I would look at the paper and go, we are 3 point underdogs to Oakland? WTF?!? Seriously. The Browns are a better team. Oakland is one of the few organizational in the NFL that is in more disarray than the Browns. Get pissed Cleveland. Let show the same fire we did last week.

Go Browns!

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