Following last week's debacle against the Oakland Raiders, many questions about the 2015 Browns remain unanswered. This week, Colin and the NCP try to unravel the mystery.
Colin: While plenty of fans are itching to see Johnny Football get behind center, have you noticed not a single teammate has stepped up to endorse him as the starter? Sounds like the locker room agrees with the coaches on this one. Thoughts?
Big$: When I need to know David Arquette’s thoughts on Taylor Swift’s dating life, I go to TMZ. As it relates to the NFL, they aren’t a go-to for pertinent locker room info. I assume they cornered Johnny and Travis Benjamin, offered them swag, massaged their egos, and bam! Lame quotes appeared. Johnny has yet to prove he can operate an NFL offense without relying on improvisation. If a player disagrees with the coaches on who starts, they need to spend more time in the film room.
Colin: It appears the almost as dysfunctional Raiders are starting to pull away from the Browns. Seems they have figured out that throwing the football is how you win in today’s NFL. Finding a QB is hard, playmaking receivers are everywhere, except in Cleveland. How is this possible? Who have we missed on?
Big$: Ray Farmer relies on “the Seahawks don’t have superstar receivers!” excuse. Well if Ray was truly seeking to follow the Seattle blueprint, Justin “the-anti-Richard-Sherman” Gilbert would have been buried on his draft board. The Browns have adopted the hilarious “play like a Brown” motto and it has led to ignoring the need for playmakers. There is not one player on the Browns roster that requires the special attention of a defense, and I think both Pettine and Ray are to blame.
Colin: Who does LeBron start for this week?
Big$: I’m over the Johnny- mania. I’m starting The King at Q.B. If any self-respecting Clevelander can support Johnny over LBJ in anything other than a skins game, that’s their own issue.
Colin: Any chance the North Coast sneaks a win on the West Coast?
K-Dubs, the Soldier: There is always a chance, my friend, but it's going to take vastly improved efforts on both sides of the ball. The biggest challenge is going to be on the defensive side. San Diego has one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Phillip Rivers, and he is clicking with a corps of receivers that is as strong as any in the league from top to bottom. The Charger offense is averaging nearly 300 yards per game through the air and rank fourth in the league in total offense, at 402 yards per game. Cornerbacks Joe Haden and Tremon Williams really need to step their game up this week for the Browns to have any shot of slowing down the Chargers, especially with safety Tashaun Gipson questionable for today’s game with a groin injury and nickelback K’Waun Williams out with a concussion. San Diego also has a threat on the ground with rookie running back, and former Wisconsin standout, Melvin Gordon. The Browns have already made running backs Chris Ivory and Dexter McCluster look like Walter Payton this season and rank dead last in the league in rushing defense. To have any shot at winning today, the Browns have to do a better job of controlling the line of scrimmage and get pressure on Rivers up the middle.
The good news is that the Chargers defense is not that great either. They are nearly as bad at stopping the run, giving up 135.7 yards per game. It is time for the Browns’ high-priced offensive line to earn those paychecks and open up lanes for Isaiah Crowell. The Chargers have not had much success pressuring the quarterback this year either and rank last in the league with just one sack. If McCown has time to execute the Browns’ quick-strike passing game, the offense can put some points on the board. Sure, the Raiders may end up being a halfway decent team this year, but losing to them at home has to leave a terrible taste in Cleveland’s mouth. I foresee some redemption blowing in on the oceanfront. Browns win 23-20.