Friday, September 30, 2016

Browns Preview 9.30.16: Cleveland Browns @ Washington Redskins

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

The Browns travel to Washington to take on the Redskins in week four. The Browns came up short in a very winnable game against the Dolphins 30-24 in overtime. With the loss the Browns start the season 0-3 and are last in the AFC North. The Redskins on the other hand pulled out a win against the New York Giants 29-27. With their win they are 1-2, but are last place in the NFC East.

Browns Offense vs Redskins Defense

The Browns offense was based around wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. Pryor had 144 yards receiving, 21 yards on the ground, and 35 passing yards. And this week isn't going to be any different. Pryor will be going against one of the best corners in the NFL, Josh Norman. If Pryor can have another big game it might just solidify him as an NFL wide out and a top one.

Again, like last week the Browns should have success running the ball with Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson. Isaiah Crowell  is tied for second in rushing yards with Zeke Elliott. Coach Jackson hoped Crowell could breakout this year and go for 1000+ yards on the ground, and he's on pace to do that and a lot more. The Browns running game is starting to look like the Bengals from last year, where Hue Jackson was an offensive coordinator. Crowell is like "Jeremy Hill" and Duke Johnson is like "Gio Bernard". Crowell and Johnson have different skill sets but together they really have helped this offense move the ball, especially since the Browns are on their third string quarterback. Last week Washington gave up 120 yards on only 21 rushes and 5.7 per attempt. If the Browns stick to the run and control the clock they have a great opportunity to win this game in Washington.

It may seem like a broken record but if Cody Kessler can just manage the game like last week, the Browns will be in a position to win this game. Kessler last week was 21/33 for 244 yards, no touchdowns, but no interceptions. Kessler didn't force anything and played within himself. And that's all you can hope for with a rookie. There were times Kessler didn't run when he had open field, but he moved in the pocket and threw the ball away. Most rookies force bad throws. Now going into this week expect the same game plan for Kessler. Slant routes, out routes, play actions, and a few bombs down field, with Deangelo Hall out for the season and to make sure Ryan Kerrigan doesn't get into the backfield.

The Redskins defense has been terrible the first three weeks. They rank 29th in points given up, with 30.7. and 29th in total yards given up with 424.7 per game.

Browns Defense vs Redskins Offense

The Browns secondary will have their hands full with the likes of DeSean Jackson, Jordan Reed, Pierre Garcon, and Jamison Crowder. Now based on the first three weeks the Browns main problem is guarding the slot receiver. Week 1 vs Matthews (7-114-1TD), week 2 vs Steve Smith (3-64), and week 3 vs Landry (7-120-1). This week they will be going against Crowder who has (16-175-2) through three weeks.

Unfortunately, its not just Crowder, its the Redskins entire passing offense. Quarterback Kirk Cousins ranks second is passing yards with 989. The Redskins rarely run the ball, last week they ran it 30 times for only 90 yards. So if the Browns want to win this potential shootout their main key should be getting to Cousins. He has three picks on the season along with his three touchdowns. He's a solid quarterback with a lot of weapons at hand. If the Browns can slow down the passing game, which they might be able to, they will be in a position to win

Five Guys to Watch

Terrelle Pryor: This one is pretty obvious. Pryor is coming off a history making game last week. If he can get near the same numbers this week...I think the Browns will win.

Isaiah Crowell: The number two rusher against on of the worst rush defenses in the NFL, again this is another obvious pick. And with Kessler starting again expect to Hue Jackson to "Feed the Crow".

Jamar Taylor: Taylor seems to have revitalized his career in Cleveland. With Joe Haden questionable this week, Taylor needs to step up again if the Browns are successful in stopping the Redskins passing offense.

Emmanuel Ogbah: Its not just on the secondary to stop the receivers, its also very important to get a consistent pass rush. Ogbah has played well the first three weeks, but is due to have a break out game. The Redskins offensive line has some question marks this week. Its extremely important to get  to Cousins to force a bad throw.

Cody Parkey: Yes, he kick who blew the game last week like the Warriors blew a 3-1 in the Finals, a one of the five guys to watch. Lets all hope last week was an anomaly. The guy was signed on Friday night and didn't have any reps until Sunday morning. Parkey is a former Pro-Bowler so there is hope.

Injury Report:
Weather Report:
Betting Line: Washington (-8)


The Browns will finally get a win this year 31-27. The Redskins are currently in a weird position and apparently at odds with quarterback Kirk Cousins so this seems like one of those let your guard down games the Browns will win. Also with the emergence of Terrelle Pryor and Isaiah Crowell the Browns have a great opportunity to control the clock and set a tempo for this shootout of a game. Also this Browns team has shown that its going to be prepared every week and that falls on the coaching staff. Quite frankly; Hue Jackson deserves this game, Browns fans deserve this game and dammit Terrelle Pryor deserves this Dub.

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