The first edition of NFL Network’s Thursday night football debuts this week, and they got somewhat of a stinker, as the 3-5 Cleveland Browns will play host to the 4-4 Denver Broncos. The game does hold some promise, as the Browns have made a major lineup move, as they have pushed out QB Derek Anderson, and have put in first-round draft pick of 2007 Brady Quinn.
There is high anticipation for the matchup on the Browns fans side just because of Quinn being in the lineup. Anderson was pulled due to the fact he’s been way too inconsistent, and even last week he threw a huge pick in a high pressure situation when he threw a pick six to Terrell Suggs down by three with close to three minutes left in the eventual 37-27 loss.
It will be interesting to see if the playbook is scaled down for Quinn, or if they are going to throw the book at him with just two days of practice, which is unlikely. Look for a lot of Jamal Lewis, which is not a bad idea, and he can exploit the Broncos run defense, which is suffering from some injuries. If Lewis can have a big night, which he should, Quinn can very well succeed in his first start.
The Broncos are struggling, as a 4-4 team in first place in the AFC West, they have lost three of their last four games and seem to be fading fast. Jay Cutler and the lack of offense as of late is just one reason the team has struggled, but the defense has been bad all season, and without Champ Bailey and a few others in this game, they may be in for a long night.
Cutler can have a good night vs the Browns secondary, but he has five picks in the last two games, and had three vs Miami last week in their 26-17 loss. With the offense scoring less than 20 points in each of their last five games, they should be able to get between 23-30 vs the Browns and their defense which was beat up by the Ravens last week.
This is a huge game for both teams, and can be a changing of the guard for the Browns. While the Broncos are a team that has playoff hopes, the Browns should turn on that National TV charm like they did a few weeks back vs the Giants and get a win over the beat up and struggling Broncos at home.