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Browns vs Packers – Week 7 – DC Show Preview

Browns vs Packers

 

The Browns sex appeal this week headed into Wisconsin is about as hot as a cheesehead wearing Packer fan. Pretty much after Weeden infamously “flipped” away any 4th quarter hopes of beating the Lions last Sunday, a flip which led to his suffering all new highs of ridicule and shame that went so far as even having one clever fan advertise for Weed’s replacement on Craigslist, I bet you wish more than ever there were Cleveland cheerleaders to distract you from having to possibly watch 10 more games with this guy under center.

Maybe some of this…

Cleveland-Browns-Cheerleader-2

 

Or how about…

2012-Cleveland-Spirit-Action_1

 

Yeah, with a little added Pumpkinhead lunacy in the background to go along with the pom-poms?

Eh?

No?

Fine, we’ll stick with the standard issue d0o-doo brown and orange unsexy non-cheerleading version, but only because you insist.

At this point, outside of the abject miracle it would take for Brandon to salvage his NFL career by turning it on and winning games, about the only thing left to watch for is to see if he’ll somehow out-bonehead his “boneheaded” pass from last week. Sitting down each week on some kind of Weeden Watch pining for epic fails worse than the “The Flip” truly may end up the entertaining default for fans, but no matter what, it’s always going to be a lot more fun to win games. Remind yourself of this each week as Weeden Watch plays on and you catch yourself laughing and rooting for his terrible plays rather than continuing to boo what’s a given at this point, that of your endless frustration over his being a complete disappointment. In other words, we’ve seen enough spectacular train wrecks with Weeden we’ve grown to have a taste for them. As logical as this normally illogical notion has become, what’s harder to believe around here is that winning is still considered everything most everywhere else. Which, is exactly what Aaron Rodgers and the 3-2 Packers aim to do this week in trying to make Cleveland the 12th home victory for Green Bay in a row.

This may appear to be a relatively easy task for the Packers that’s seen as a near foregone conclusion by most, however, with all of the injuries on Green Bay’s roster, it’s one that may not go completely as scripted. Down a running back, a receiver, a tight end, and 3 linebackers (with only A.J. Hawk left standing among their starting LBs), this is a Packers team who will be limping onto Lambeau Field. They do, unfortunately for any Browns hopefuls, still possess Aaron Rodgers with Jermichael Finley and Jordy Nelson for him to target, and, they feature a as of recent reinvigorated run game that saw Eddie Lacey tally over 100 yards last week against the Ravens. Thinking the pendulum of odds might actually swing to the favor of the Browns by looking at the injury report, would not be recommended.

Are you sure you don’t want to just see more images of scantily clad faux Cleveland Browns cheerleaders?

 

Key Matchups to Watch Out For

– Craig Robertson in Pass Coverage vs Anyone Wearing Green & Yellow – Guess who’s going to be picked on this week, i.e., guess who’s the new Buster Skrine? After being targeted a career high 10 times last week by the Stafford, Bush and Fauria pass attack, what has long been seen in pass coverage as a work in progress/outright issue for the Browns with their 2nd year undrafted middle linebacker, erupted as clearly the latter when Robertson gave up 2 touchdowns and 104 yards on 8 receptions last Sunday. The reality is that as bad as those numbers may have seemed, and felt, this has unfortunately been a key issue with Robertson over the 22 games so far in his pro career. With quarterbacks enjoying a hundo QB rating throwing at his coverage, with over 10 yards a catch and a completion percentage of 80%, one has to wonder aloud why it took 6 weeks into this season to see a team purposefully exploit this weakness.

Against the Pack, whether through help with safeties and double-teams, something which might have the adverse effect of drawing in the coverage and allowing Rodgers big arm to make big plays down field, you can very well expect Green Bay to frequently attack Robertson until Horton’s schemes and/or Craig’s coverage forces them to go with something else. If this doesn’t happen and, say, Jermichael Finley starts thinking about getting 8 receptions and a couple TDs too, expect it to be another very long day for Robertson and Cleveland’s defense.

– Joe Haden Continued Pro-Bowl Campaign – And this week it’s Jordy Nelson who’s the next contestant on the 2013 Joe Haden Shutdown Tour, a travelling show that’s seen Joe shutdown Mike Wallace, Torrey Smith, A.J. Green, and (a hobbled) Calvin Johnson. Will Haden do it again? Or, will Nelson prove to be too much and become the first receiver to beat Joe on the year? Who will reign supreme? Either way, it’s sure to be one of the best matchups to watch all day.

–  David Bakhtiari, meet Jabaal Sheard – One very welcome sight back to the Browns defense will be Jabaal Sheard this week. Sure, getting to see more Mingo was a small perk to Sheard having to miss a few games, but after watching just how green Mingo still is (spin move and speed rush…and that’s it so far for his bag of tricks), seeing the gridiron monster that is Jabaal return to the lineup is something and someone to keep your eye on. Prior to a knee injury that kept him out 3 games, Sheard was arguably the best defensive player in the Browns front 7, if not the whole defense, and the Packers 4th round rookie Bakhtiari will clearly have his work cut out for him. Let’s say that again for clarity; Bakhtiari. No matter how his name is properly pronounced it’s called a pancake when an O-linemen flattens to the ground an opponent, but what Bakhtiari needs to be more worried about is when a defensive player plows over a lineman. Maybe after this week pancaking an O-lineman will be called Shearded? Or, better yet, Jabaal’d! We can coin it after the fact, in the meantime know that Rodgers’ head will be on a swivel all day checking his blindside to make sure Bakhtiari has Jabaal handled, as it will surely be a matter of Aaron staying upright and in one piece.

– The Browns 1st Half vs their 2nd Half – Whatever Cleveland’s routine is at halftime, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS FOOTBALL CHANGE IT! You’ve all seen and heard the stats by now, “the Browns have led every game this year going into the half, they’ve outscored their opponents 78-43 in the 1st Half, been outscored 82-40 in the 2nd Half”, and on and on their woes of the last 30 minutes of the game go. Whatever it is, more electrolytes, some cheerleaders, whatever, something drastically has to change. And Weeden, I know you’re far from alone in this, but trust that all eyes will be on you if the Browns are still in it late, and that some Cleveland fans on Weeden Watch will even be rooting for you to fail.

If you’re still not sold on Weeden Watch and essentially rooting for more incredibly bad play from him, consider how Matt Schaub was cheered by his home crowd after being hurt in Houston last week, and know the same thing happened here in Cleveland with Derek Andersen back in 2008. Given this history you have to understand that more than a few of you would also approve and even applaud Weeden getting knocked out of a game. And not just because it might lead to a better 1st round pick or because you think Campbell is the team’s savior, but mainly because you’re fed up with his play and his getting hurt seems the only way he doesn’t start the rest the season. Once you acknowledge this truth, accepting that Weeden is going to do something terrible and rooting for it to happen doesn’t seem so bad. In fact, Weeden Watch damn near seems the only humane option left for fans.

Prediction

I’m now 3-3 in this regards and I might add, 0-3 when Weeden starts. I’m none to happy about it too. With the line opening at +7.5 Browns, which pushed quickly to +10, predicting a win with Weeden against Rodgers is totally out of the question. But, predicting the Browns will beat the spread, is a whole other affair. The Packers offense with Aaron Rodgers at the helm we all know to be one of the best in the business, but their defense at times has had its hands full. Of late they may have kept both a Megatron-less Detroit and a uncharacteristically weak Ravens squad in check their last two games, only surrendering as a team 26 points total over those two weeks, but with all the injuries they’ve suffered at linebacker, it’s a wonder they’ve done anything positive at all on defense. That said, the Browns defense is the one with something to prove after the rather poor showing in the Lions game, and I think they return to form and allow Weeden’s offense its good chance to stay in the game. Our defense won’t entirely shut down Rodgers and Company, but they could limit them and come up with a big play or two in the process to make the game a lot more interesting.

The Packers win this one, and I wouldn’t think of betting otherwise, but it stays within a touchdown. So take the Browns and those 10 points they’re getting, and hope for the best.

If all else fails, starting an official petition for the return of Browns cheerleaders might be the only thing we have left to save the rest of the 2013 season from being unwatchable.

browns cheer

 

Go Browns.

 

-Mike James

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Posted by on Oct 17 2013. Filed under Featured, Show Reports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Browns vs Packers – Week 7 – DC Show Preview”

  1. david cardarelli

    Any chance of downloading the pics without the commentary? No offense, but they ARE prettier.

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