Two young teams looking to take the next step will battle in Indy Sunday, as the Colts and Browns take the field in a week 7 AFC matchup.
Last week Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck found little success in the Meadowlands vs the Jets, playing maybe his worst game in a 35-9 loss to the Jets. He went 22 of 44 for 280 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions, also losing a fumble.
Indianapolis is 0-3 when Luck completes less than 52 percent of his passes.
“I think it’s imperative to be critical of yourself to realize when the blame is on you and figure out why I made the mistake and how I can avoid doing it next time, how can I rectify it,” he said.
The Browns got their first win of 2012 last week, topping the Bengals 34-24 at home. They are 1-5 on the season, but are starting to show promise with fellow rookie QB Brandon Weeden.
Weeden threw for 231 yards and found Josh Gordon for a 71-yard touchdown and Benjamin Watson for a three-yard scoring strike. “We’re scoring a lot points, our defense is playing well, offensively we’re starting to click and mesh,” said Weeden, who’s been picked off a league-high 10 times. ” … We’ve got a long ways to go, but we’re on the right track.”
The Browns should have running back Trent Richardson back in the lineup, as he left the Bengals win with a rib injury, but practiced on Wednesday and should be good to go.
“This is about trying to build a consistent winner,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “It’s our first win in a long time. We’ve been building up to it. I’ve sat here and said I think we’re getting better. It’s easy for folks to roll their eyes until you win a game.
“Now that we’ve won one, I want our players to get greedy with that feeling and go out and try to win against the Colts.”
Indy will look to leading WR Reggie Wayne for a mismatch, and look for Cleveland to counter with Joe Haden, who is back for his second game after serving a suspension.
The Colts have been tough against the pass, they haven’t been able to stop anyone on the ground. Surrendering 159.0 rushing yards per contest, Indianapolis gave up a season-worst 252 last weekend.
That means that the Browns will feed Richardson often, and it should turn into a second straight win for the improving Browns.
Cleveland 24 Indianapolis 17