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Browns @ Cardinals Preview

Setting the Stage
After what was considered a series of strong drafts and personnel moves, Cleveland entered the current season considered "the darlings of the NFL. They are currently 6 -7, having eked out a 27 - 19 win over the cellar-dwelling Bengals.

Cardinals were home dogs vs. the Steelers, and the Vegas guys got it right - the Cards llost their 7th straight (True,, they were in it right up to the end, but you know what they say about "close, hand-grenades and horseshoes."

Lots of fan whooping urging the Cards to fire GM Steve Keim. Fans seem to be more forgiving about HC Klif Kingsbury and young QB Kyler Murray. Speaking of Murray - to us us, it seems as if opposing defenses have figured him out and are successfully taking away his scrambling routes and passing lanes, making Kyler "less Superman and more mere mortal. (Note - I guess I could say the same thing about Kingsbury - opposing DC's appear to be figuring him out, and he still has things to learn about being a head coach and offensive play caller.

Possibly most compelling story-lines: (1) Cards get off the schneid", (2) Browns make it back to ..500..

Most Recent Game
Browns bounced back from an upset-loss to the Steelers with a 27 - 19 win over the Bengals. It was a close contest early-on, with the Browns leading 14 - 13; but Cleveland opened up a 24 - 16 3Q lead and matched Cincy' single FG to emerge a 27 - 19 victor.

Game resembled the Cardinal - Steeler contest, in that Ward's 61-yd interception TD return for mirrored the 85-yd 1st quarter TD off a punt return that proved to be Pittsburgh's margin of victory.

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter

Cincy - FG - Bullock - 34 Yds - Cincy 3 - Browns 0

Cleve - TD - Ward - 61 yd interception - Browns 7 - Cincy 3

Cincy - FG - Bullock 44 Yds - Browns 7 - Cincy 6

FIRST QUARTER SCORE: Browns 7 - Cincy 6

2nd Quarter

Cincy - TD -Mixon - 1 Yd run - Cincy 13 - Cleve 7

Cleve - TD - Mayfield - 7 Yd run - Browns 14- Cincy 13

HALFTIME SCORE: - Browns 14- Cincy 13

3rd Quarter

Cleve - TD Hunt 3 Yd Run - Browns 21 - Cincy 13

Cincy - FG - Bullocks - 28 Yds - Browns 21 - Cincy 16

Cleve - Seibert - 53 Yds - Cleve 24 - Cincy 16

3RD QUARTER SCORE: Cleve 24 - Cincy 16

4th Quarter

Cleve - FG - Seibert- 32 Yds - Cleve 27 - Cincy 16

Cincy - FG Bullock - 34 Yds - Cleve 27 - Cincy 19

FINAL SCORE: Cleve 27 - Cincy 19


Browns in a Nutshell

QB ...06 Mayfield....03 Gilbert

Running Backs
RB1...24 Chubb...25 Hilliard
RB2...27 Hunt...30 D'E Johnson

Wide Receivers
WR1...80 Landry...12 Hodge...18 Ratley
WR2 ..13 Beckham Jr...81 Higgins...10 T Taylor

Tight Ends
TE..88 Harris...83 Seals-Jones...89 Carlson...86 P Brown...85 Njoku

Offensive Line
LT....78 G Robinson..67 McCray
LG...75 Bitonio....79 Forbes
OC...64 Tretter
RG..77 Teller...72 Kush
RT....74 Hubbard...70 Lamm

Cardinal Defense

Defensive Interior Line
LDE - 92 Kerr.
NT - 98 Peters...72 M Brown
RDE - 94 Reid, 91 Dogbe

SAM - 55 C Jones..43 Reddick....49 Fitts
ILB - ..59 Walker... 51 Vallejo
MLB - 58 Hicks, 42 Gardeck...47 Z Turner
WILL - 56 Suggs, 54 Marsh Sr

Defensive Backs
RCB - 33 Murphy.....27 K Peterson...xx J Davis
LCB - 21 P Peterson...25 C Jones.
SS - 34 J Thompson...35 D Thompson
FS - 32 Baker...38 Banjo...28 C Washington...
40 Tillman*

Matchup: Browns Passing Attack vs. Cardinal Pass Defense
Baker Mayfield completed 255 of 431 *59.2%) of his passes for 3,109 yards, 15 TD's and 16 interceptions. His key targets were WR's Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckkhm and RB Nick Chubb. Landry was targeted 115 times, caught 69 passes for 995 yards (& 14.42 ypr). Beckham was thrown to 108 times, netted 59 passes for 844 yards (& 14.31 ypr). Chubb was targeted 43 times & caught 32 passes for 256 yards (8.00 ypr). Keep an eye on former Card Ricky Seals-Jones who's averaging 17.70 ypr.

Opposing teams continue to exploit the Cardinal pass defense. Patrick Peterson has looked a shell of his former self. Reason usually stated: "Poor communication." From our standpoint, we see our DBs as consistently "one step slower" and prone to losing 9 of every 10 battles for the ball, open field tackles and other matchup battles.

Key Matchups - Landry vs. Peterson...Beckham vs. Murphy...Schobert vs. Humphries...Walker vs. Suggs

Matchup :Srowns Rushing Attack vs. Cardinal Run Defense
Cleveland produces about the same ground yards as its opponents (1,618 yds vs. 1,667 yds / 4.89 ypc vs. 4.78 ypc). Chubb is the main Cleveland bell-cow, gaining 1,81 yards / 5.06 ypc.

Key Matchups - Chubb vs. Hicks

01 Murray, 07 Hundley

Running Back
41 Drake...31 D Johnson, 29 Edmonds,

Wide Receivers
WR - 11 Fitzgerald...89 Isabella, 12 Cooper
WR - 13 Kirk....19 KS Johnson. 16 Sherfield...14 Byrd

Tight Ends
TE - 85 Clay ....81 Daniels
TE - 87 - MWilliams...xx Arnold

Offensive Line
LT- ...74 Humphries...66 Miles,
LG - 67 Pugh
OC- 53 Shipley, 52 Cole
RG- 64 Sweezy...73 Garcia, 65 Gailliard.
RT - 71 J Murray..

Browns Defense

Defensive Line
LDE...92 C Thomas...97 Gustin
LDT..65 Ogunjobi...90 B Bryant...99 Zimmer

DDT...98 Richardson...91 Ankou
RDE...54 Vernon...94 Cox

WILL 51 Wilson
MIKE 53 Schobert..44 Takitaki
SAM...57 A Taylor...55 T Davis

Defensive Backs
LCB...21 Ward...38 Carrie
RCB...26 G Williams...39 Mitchell...20 T Thomas
FS....23 Randall....29 Redwine
SS - 31 Burris...22 Murray...49 Hassell

Matchup: Cardinal Passing Attack vs Browns Pass Defense
K Murray completed 64.1% of his passes for 3,060 yards, 16 TDs abd 9 interceptions, but he's been sacked 46 times. His chief targets are Fitz (64 receptions for 669 yds (10.45 ypr) and Kirk (57 receptions, 616 yds and 10.45 ypr). David Johnson is the Cards' 3rd leading receiver with 35 catches for 366 yds and 20.46 ypr). Fitz and Kirk have scored 3 TDs/D Johnson 4.

Cleveland pass rushers netted 37 total sacks (vs. 33 by their opponents). Myles Garrett leads Browns with 10 sacks followed by Ogunjobi (5.5) and C Thomas (4.0). Ball hwk, Schobert leads the Browns with 4 interceptions

Key Matchups:
Fitz vs. Ward...Kirk vs. G Williams...Humphries vs. .Schobrt

Matchup: Cardinal Running Attack vs. Browns Run Defense
Cardinal runners have gained 1,440 yds (vs. 1,566 by their opponents). It looks like Schobert is, by far, the Browns' most prolific tacklers with 76, followed by M Wilson (41) and and Richardson (40).

Murray leads all Card ground-gainers with 448 yds on 17 attempts (5.82 ypc). followed by D Johnson (336 yds on 89 carries for 3.78 ypc). Newest main RB (signed in mid-season) is Kenyan Drake (280 yds on 65 carries for 5.15 ypc).

Key Matchups
Drake and D Johnson vs. Schobert..Murray and Sweezy vs. M Wilson and Richardson.

Special Teams

Browns Special Teams
K ......04 Seibert
P ..... 07 Gillan
H      xx Gillan
LS    47 Hughlett
KR  .xx Hilliard
PR   xx Hilliard

Cardinals Special Teams
P - ...02 Lee
K- ....05 Gonzalez
H - ...02 Lee
LS - 46 Brewer
KR -12 Cooper... 89 Isabella...
PR - 12 Cooper...13 Kirk.

Matchup Browns Special Teams vs. Cardinal Special Teams
Gillan nets 40.7 yds per punt (vs. 41.4 yds net yards by opponents). Landry averages 10.60 yds per PR. Hilliard averages 27.23 KR's and 6.69 yds per PR. Seibert connected on 25 of 28 FG attempts (1 outside the 50). Opposing kickers only made 19 of 28 FG attempts.

Key Matchups
Seibert edges Gonzalez...Lee edges Gillan. Hilliard edges Cooper.

Coaching / Intangibles
HC: Former Cardinal coach, Freddie Kitchens
. OC: Todd Monken, DC: Former Cardinal DC Steve Wilks, ST: Mike Priefer - We've always considered Kitchens more of a blue-collar grinder than a major risk-taker or innovator... We 're not big Wilks fans (more of a "go along to get along" defensive guy not likely to innovate his way out of defensive holes.

How to Beat Browns
Contain Chubb on the ground. Ditto Landry and Beckham in the air. Minimize offensive mistakes/ don't fall behind. Lots of quick stuff on offense.

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Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 03/25/2013