Browns vs. Bills: DPD staff predictions

Dec 11, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson yells out to his players during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson yells out to his players during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cleveland Browns are not favored to pick up their first win of the season today against the Buffalo Bills.

The Cleveland Browns take the field today against the Buffalo Bills in what is one of the final three opportunities to pick up a single win in 2016.

A week after a few brave souls picked the Browns to win, the staff is not so generous this week in the picks.

Jonathan Goehring (2016 record: 9-4): Bills 36, Browns 13

I am tired of giving the Browns a chance when they have done nothing to deserve one. Against a desperate Buffalo team on the road, Cleveland will be given a heavy dose of LeSean McCoy and an elusive Tyrod Taylor. Buffalo should exceed 250 yards on the ground, which may be more than Cleveland’s offense is able to gain on the afternoon.

The Bills will take an early 14-point lead and cruise due to their dominant rushing attack. They will also force several turnovers from the Browns, a team that has proved to be consistently sloppy. Hopefully I am wrong, but this matchup does not look good for the Browns. Unless they can magically find a deep connection under less than ideal conditions, there is no way they can match up with the Bills physically in the trenches.

The Browns have one more legitimate chance to get a win this season, which will come on Christmas Eve against the Chargers.

Tom Moore (2016 record: 13-0): Bills 24, Browns 10

There are a couple of statistics that stand out in this game. The first is that the Bills come into the contest as the NFL’s top rushing team, while the Browns are in their usual position as one of the worst when it comes to stopping the run.

The second one is that the Bills are 6-1 this season when they hold their opponents to less than 21 points. That is problematic for the Browns, who have only averaged 9.8 points a game over the past five games. Having Robert Griffin III make another start at quarterback does not help the situation, other than it moves the Browns one step closer to the top overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, which is all part of the master plan.

Roger Cohen (2016 record: 11-2): Bills 20, Browns 3

Frigid weather, embattled, overmatched coach of an underachieving team whose fans can’t even give their tickets away.

Sounds like any one of the post-1999 Browns teams in December — but it’s actually the Bills this Sunday and harmonic convergence for the first Browns win?

Nah, not really.

Bills solid defense strip sacks RG3 couple times, and Browns special teams slip slide away field position and a couple more easy scores. Buffalo runs out the clock on a 20-3 punt-a-thon.

Oh, and while we’re hoping against it, gotta’ feeling RG3 gets slammed on his bad shoulder–again.

Joel Cade (2016 record: 11-2): Bills 27, Browns 13

The Cleveland Browns travel for the first time in over a month. They head to Buffalo to take on a very tough Buffalo defense and offense focused on running the ball.  It should be a game heavily impacted by the weather as the Bills are paying fans $10 an hour to shovel snow off the bleachers and throughout the stadium.

The Browns offense should be one game closer to everyone getting on the same page. The addition of the QB run element to the offense will help with the run game and pass protection. Expect the Browns to rely heavy on the ground game early – at least until they fall behind and abandon all hope. It is the time of the season where the Browns need to stop holding anything back if they have any chance to win.

The defense has improved toward the end of the season. Tramon Williams‘ safety experiment went well for the first game. But rest assured the Bills will test Williams at that position. The cold weather means the run game. Tyrod Taylor adds a dimension to the offense as well.

Marcell Dareus has guaranteed a Bills win this Sunday and I agree. The streak Browns fall to 0-14.

Steven Kubitza (2016 record: 8-5): Bills 24, Browns 10

Last week’s game against the Bengals was considered to be the Browns’ best remaining chance at a win. And after how poorly the Browns played, a win may not be coming against the three remaining opponents.

RG3 is going to continue to struggle, turning the ball over due to an inability to avoid going for the big play. Terrelle Pryor will be targeted all day, but solid coverage and bad passes will limit his impact on the game for the second straight week.

The Bills will control the clock and tire out the Browns defense in the cold weather, making this another Sunday snoozer for Browns fans.

Matt Stevenson (2016 Record: 11-1): Bills 27, Browns 16

The Cleveland Browns disappointed fans last week against the Cincinnati Bengals. Now, with only three games remaining, Cleveland takes on the Buffalo Bills. The Bills, who have also been rather disappointing this season, have one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL. In fact, they lead the league and the Browns haven’t been the best at stopping it.

LeSean McCoy should be salivating at such a great matchup, and the cold weather can only help him. He is one of the best backs in football and his cuts allow him to deceive defenders. RG3 looked pretty bad in his first game returning from injury, and there is little reason to think it will change this week.

Eric Szczepinski (2016 record: 8-4): Bills 27, Browns 14

Robert Griffin III improves upon last week’s poor performance but it isn’t enough to lead the Browns to their first victory on the road. Bills running back LeSean McCoy has a huge day on the ground against the Browns’ weak run defense to steady the Bills’ offensive attack.

The Browns will have opportunities to make this a game but won’t be able to capitalize when it’s needed the most. Terrelle Pryor and Corey Coleman will have improved games from a week ago and have better chemistry with Griffin. After a week of practice together the wide receiver duo will have solid performances to lead the Browns offense, but it won’t be enough to win the game.