It’s been a week of turmoil for the Cleveland Browns, and now sitting at 2-4, they have a long trip to Florida to take on a rested Jacksonville Jaguars team coming in at 3-3. The chaos with the Browns has to do with the team deciding to sit TE Kellen Winslow after he spoke out against the team for not telling the media that the reason he was in the hospital for three days two weeks ago was due to a staph infection. Let’s just say the powers that be for the Browns didn’t like Winslow saying he felt he was being treated like “a piece of meat.”
Now the team will take to the field for what has to be a must-win. They fell in Washington last week 14-11, and will try to upset a Jags team coming off a 24-17 win over the Broncos on the road two weeks ago. If the Browns want to have a chance, they have to rediscover an offense that has been terrible for really all but one game this season. Cleveland’s offense is 30th in the league, putting up just 255.5 yards per game.
It may be time for the team to throw a little caution to the wind and allow Derek Anderson and company to just air it out. Anderson has been off for the most part of 08, but maybe if he throws early and tries a few deep shots, he and WR Brayon Edwards and Donte’ Stallowth can get something going. The teams passing offense is 28th in the league.
Look for the Jaguars to try and stop Anderson and that offense early, sending Cleveland into their usual tailspin that usually results in losses. They can pressure the Browns with blitzes and physical play from their secondary. Even allowing 340.5 yards per game, the Jags defense has the advantage over a Browns offense that is not very good.
The Jags will use the same type of formula they used two weeks ago vs the Broncos, which is to run and then try to open some things up for QB David Garrard and his pass catchers. Against Denver, the team ran for 155 yards on 34 carries, and Garrard had his best game of the year, going 25-for-34 for 261 yards.
The Cleveland defense has been playing much better in 08, and the teams losing record is not their problem. They need to force some turnovers and give the Browns offense some short fields to work off of. If they can do that, they have a shot.
In the end though, the Jags are playing better ball, are rested, and don’t have nearly the distractions the Browns do. Cleveland has been a huge letdown so far in 08, and looking at the matchup the Jags should come out with a 7-10 point win to move over .500 at 4-3.