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Strong First Half Is Key To Jaguars Victory

Amidst the talk of how well the Cleveland Browns have been playing, one thing has been absent from the conversation. Cleveland is not a good second half team. Save the offensive explosion against New England, where they put up a total of 17 offensive points, this is a team that starts strong but finishes weak.

Cleveland has scored a total of 172 points with two scores being defensive. The majority of their scoring has been in the first half, with only 54 second half points being supplied by the offense. Their victory over New Orleans was more on Drew Brees, who threw four interceptions, and their defense which accounted for two scores.

To accentuate their second half failings, the Browns lost their first three games by blowing fourth quarter leads, scoring 0, 0, and 7 second half points respectively. Their late game tying touchdown to take the Jets to overtime was their only score of the second half, a game which saw them go up 10-3 early and 13-10 late in the second quarter before giving up a Mark Sanchez TD with :23 left in the half.

The Jaguars, while getting blown out in their loses, have a completely different resume. In three of their five victories, Jacksonville has won the game in the fourth quarter.

Cleveland enters the game as the popular pick on the heals of a difficult schedule and winning two of their last three against premier competition. However, with the star of last year's Cleveland victory out for the game (Josh Cribbs) that puts the bulk of the load on Peyton Hillis, and possibly more on Colt McCoy. Can Cleveland win with a one dimensional offense?

With David Garrard leading a balanced attack, if the Jaguars can continue their run of error free football and get up early, 6-4 is a strong probability.