Week 11 in Cleveland could mean only one thing. The Browns have faded from contention and the season is a bust. Our focus has turned to Saturdays with a haze of discontent in our eyes as we scour the college ranks for talent that could one day turn our franchise around. It is merely another sorrowful Sunday, right?
Guess again. Your Cleveland Browns are still in it, folks. They take the field today with the fifth ranked defense in the league and an extra week of rest. The Dawgs are back in Cleveland and it is feeding time. They face a Bengals team who has given away six interceptions and allowed 10 sacks in the last two weeks. The time is now and the opportunity is here. A victory for the Browns today would not only secure the first sweep of the Battle of Ohio in a dozen years, but would also place the Cleveland Browns in direct competition for the division title. A loss today however, would likely mean the opposite.
The Dawgs of Defense in Cleveland have been outstanding and are likely on the verge of becoming elite. They bring a league-high 15 players with at least one sack and a front seven who have been impressive all the way down the depth chart. The play of the secondary, much to everyone’s surprise, has also been stellar at times. The Most Improved Dawg, Buster Skrine, has stepped up in a tremendous fashion to solidify what was, at the start of the season, a severe and legitimate concern. For many years, we have hoped for a Brown’s defense reminiscent of the original Dawgs of the 80’s and it appears that we may now be only a few pups short.
The offense on the other hand still requires a bit more construction. The running game is in much need of, well, a running game. The front office is likely wishing that Stickum had not been outlawed with the consistently inconsistent play of the receiving core. Concerns at quarterback however, have leveled out with the recent play of Jason Campbell. Even with Campbell’s play and the return of Brian Hoyer, look to see the front office utilize a first round pick, or two, to secure the franchise QB of the future. We eagerly anticipate a few major additions in the upcoming draft, but a victory today could bring those anticipations front and center, as our focus will be solidly placed on the year at hand