Friday, September 25, 2015

#Browns Preview 9.25.15: Oakland #Raiders @ Cleveland Browns

Did coach Pettine go with what's best or with what's safe?
By @mrgroce

Last Sunday, Johnny Manziel led the Cleveland Browns to their first win of the season. It wasn't a spectacular showing by Johnny, but he did his job. Manziel was 8-15 for 172 yards and 2 td's. His performance was very "Tim Tebow like" in the sense of he made a couple of big plays but the rest of the game he looked less than average. Manziel has only played 14 quarters in his whole career so not much should be expected. Josh McCown passed the necessary tests that have made him available to play if called upon, and sure enough coach Mike Pettine has tabbed him as the starter for Sunday's game. 

The question is, did coach Pettine make the decision that's best or the decision that's safe.  It appears that by going with McCown, coach Pettine has chosen the safe route by choosing the quarterback that he feels gives the team the best chance to win against the Raiders. McCown, in his limited showing against the Jets led the team on a good long drive until he fumbled inside of the 10 yd line. He's a veteran who's seen it all, and won the job out of training camp. Manziel is young, still trying to figure things out, and does a better job of improvising than standing in the pocket and going through his progressions. 

What's going on in Berea is the complete opposite of the quarterback situation at The Ohio State University in which you have two very good play callers and you have no clue which guy you feel is best. The Browns QB situation seems more to me as though you have two bad play callers and you don't know which awful guy to put in. I don't think coach Pettine can make a bad call here, but I guess if it were up to me I'd go with Johnny. He's more of the unknown and he's supposed to be the quarterback of the future, play him and see what he's got. The Raiders have the worst defense in the NFL, giving up 33 points and 444 yards per game. I would like to think that Johnny could do some damage against that type of defense, while at the same time building up a little confidence.  McCown is a 13yr vet who has played for nine different teams, pretty sure he's not going to lead the team to the playoffs this year. In fact he's never led a team to the playoffs. 

McCown does a nice job of spreading the ball around so I would imagine that against the Raiders offense he will put up some pretty good numbers. I expect the running backs (Isaiah Crowell,Duke Johnson) to gain 120-170yds on the ground and with the Raiders best defensive back, Charles Woodson being 38 years old, I believe the receivers will be able to get themselves open. Offensively the Raiders best two players are QB Derek Carr and WR Amari Cooper. Carr, like Manziel is in his second year and seems to be improving. Expect the Browns to put pressure on him to see if he can make quick decision. I also expect Cooper to get at least one touchdown against Browns cornerback Joe Haden, because you know, everyone gets at least one touchdown against Haden. 

When the clock hits 00:00 I expect the Browns to come away victorious at home with a double digit win. My prediction, Browns 27, Raiders 13.

What: Cleveland Browns vs Oakland Raiders
When: Sunday 1:00 PM
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium Cleveland, Ohio
TV/Radio: CBS, WKNR Cleveland 850, WKRK Cleveland 92.3 The Fan, WNCX 98.5

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