Game Preview: Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars


Cleveland Browns (3-6) Week #11
Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4)
     Browns_icon_medium

VS.

Jaguars_icon_medium

Date: November 21st, 2010
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Time: 1 PM EST
Stadium: Everbank Field
TV: CBS
Favorite: Jaguars -1
Radio: Click Here Over/Under: 42
Weather:
Click Here Injury Report:
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SBN Coverage: Dawgs By Nature Coverage Map

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Sorry for the lack of Game Previews the last couple of weeks, real life has been getting in the way.

The Browns have started to become a yearly non-divisional opponent for the Jaguars. For the third straight year the Jaguars and Browns will square off in a meeting of former AFC Central foes. The Browns come into Jacksonville as perhaps one of the best 3-6 teams in NFL history. With wins over New England and New Orleans, the Browns are the real deal. However, will the team still be hung over from a tough overtime loss to New York?

For the Jaguars, are they still in "Do or Die" mode? After two wins with their backs against the wall, the team can not afford to go back into old habits. What happens this week?

Jaguars Offense vs Browns Defense

If you haven't already, Adam did a great job with his Analyzing Tendencies article.

Honestly, I don't have very much to add here. I will say that David Garrard is going to have to continue his strong play as of late. With a Browns pass defense that shouldn't give him much trouble, a return to "Bad" David would be disheartening to say the least.

With Mike Sims-Walker now doubtful, it will once again be time for Mike Thomas to step up.

Jaguars Defense vs Browns Offense

The obvious story here has been the play of Browns rookie QB Colt McCoy. Most brushed off McCoy as yet another great college QB turned clip board holder in the NFL. Instead, he's been one of the genuine surprises in the NFL so far. He hasn't put up amazing numbers, averaging less than 200 yards a game and only throwing 2 touchdowns, but he's been clutch when it's counted for Cleveland.

The Jaguars first game post-Kampman looked alot like 2009 from a pass rush standpoint. McCoy has stared down far better pass rushed so far in his young career, which is a scary thought.

However, the real gear that makes the Browns offense go is Peyton Hillis. The 3rd year back has already almost doubled his career rushing statistics this season. Hillis is on pace for almost 1300 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. Throw in the fact he's averaging 4.8 yards everytime he carries the football, and it appears the Jaguars will be in for some smash mouth football.

Hillis is also a threat out of the backfield, where he is averaging 7.5 yards per reception on 34 catches.

The Jaguars defense is going to have to muster up a performance reminiscent of the 2005 and 2006 defenses. The Browns are going to want to run Hillis all day in order to make this more comfortable for McCoy. The onus will be on the defensive line and the linebackers to not let that happen.

As Brian wrote following the draft, last year's game in Cleveland obviously was stuck in Gene Smith's mind all offseason. The Jaguars were completely embarrassed by the Browns running game. That was why the Jaguars spent their first four draft picks on defensive linemen. Now, will Tyson Alualu and company vindicate Gene Smith?

Special Teams and Intangibles

The Jaguars have caught a huge break here. With Josh Cribbs likely out, that takes away the Browns biggest weapon. While Clifton Smith is a serviceable return guy, he is nowhere near the threat that Cribbs would have presented.

Something else to watch for is how Josh Scobee rebounds. Kicking in the NFL is 90% mental. Can he get those misses out of his head, particularly if the team needs him to kick another game winning field goal?

Player on the Hot Seat

Tyson Alualu (and the rest of the defensive line)

The Jaguars defensive linemen were simply embarrassed last year in Cleveland. Now is their chance for redemption. Can they shut down Hillis and force Colt McCoy to beat them?

Prediction

Cleveland has had a good run as of late. However, I think the loss to the Jets ends up taking some wind out of their sails.

Jaguars 28

Browns 17

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