It feels that every week is crucial for the Cleveland Browns, and this week is no different as they will be heavy favorites at home vs. the one-win Arizona Cardinals. Truthfully, I hate these weeks more than being large underdogs because it feels like the pressure is worse.
The Browns are 2-2 in their last four games which have been without Deshaun Watson, and this is a very winnable game they need to come away with. I’d love to sit here and say they need to dominate, but in the NFL, you just take the win and don’t look back.
With the NFL trade deadline officially passing on October 31st at 4 PM, a few factors have changed for both teams as the Browns and Cardinals made a final-day trade. Let’s take a dive at three big factors that could determine the outcome.
Cleveland Browns Factor No. 3 – Kyler Murray
The big trade for the Arizona Cardinals at the deadline was moving on from Joshua Dobbs who has filled in for the injured Kyler Murray to begin the season. The Cardinals didn’t get much in return for Dobbs, but he will continue to get an opportunity to start in Minnesota with the injury to Kirk Cousins.
The real question now is, will Murray start this week, or will the Cardinals go with Clayton Tune who has one NFL attempt and zero starts? And even though Murray hasn’t started a game all year, he’s always faired well vs. the Browns and would certainly be a tougher matchup than a rookie with no starting experience.
One would think that the Cardinals wouldn’t have traded Dobbs unless Murray was ready to come back (who is still technically on Injured Reserved), but at 1-7 and speculation that Murray may not be the answer, they may be willing to throw away a game or two for a draft pick.
I think the Browns will be in good shape no matter who the starter is for the Cardinals, but I certainly wouldn’t be upset to get a shot at a rookie quarterback at home after a tough loss last week.