NFL  > Cleveland Browns  > Browns 09 Schedule Second Quarter
May 20, 2009, 10:52 PM
So we left the Browns after the first quarter of the season at 2-2 with wins over Denver and Cincy and losses to the Vikes and Ravens. Moving right along we go to:

AT BUFFALO: The Bills made a classic mistake in going for a flashy name (TO) while letting an un-flashy but key contributor slip away (Jason Peters) The Bills did not address their left tackle situation and now Trent Edwards has to worry about the rushers on his blindside even more than Owens. By this time the Bills will have learned a very hard lesson, Owens isn't very effective when your quarterback can't stay upright. Edwards took a beating last year WITH Peters, without him it's jailbreak city. Owens leads the league in drops and that was with a guy who had excellent protection. The one shot is if the Buffalo defense suddenly turns into the 2000 Ravens, but there's not much chance of that happening. Edwards barely survives and the Browns head home with a W (WIN)

AT PITTSBURGH: One thing I expect from Mangini is for him to prepare like hell for Pittsburgh and Baltimore. He knows first hand you have to be competitive in your own division. He'd probably be coaching the Jets still if he had more success against the Patriots. Even though the Steelers are the defending World Champs I see them being an easier upset chance than the Ravens. The reason being is that I remember those protection problems Pittsburgh had in the Super Bowl against an Arizona defense that was hardly the terror of the league. I know they had injuries. I know they drafted a guard in the second round. Still the way Arizona's front was able to penetrate seemingly at will, I'd be worried if I was a Steel fan. That said, it's a homer for the Pittsburgh boys. That should be enough for a tight one (LOSS)

GREEN BAY: This is the toughest team to get a read on early in the season. They didn't lose any key players, they drafted okay, last year their defense was below average but not terrible, their offense was terrific at number 8 overall...and yet they still posted a 6-10 record. And two of those wins were against 0-16 Detroit. What happened? How did they miss 8-8? I can't help but wonder who are the leaders on this team, especially on offense. Aaron Rogers had a great statistical season but I don't think he replaced the drive and swagger that Favre brought. It hardly matters because Cleveland's was a tough place for the Pack to play even when they were good. That trend continues. (WIN)

AT CHICAGO: Can the bears change for Jay Cutler? That's the question. It's not just a matter of getting a top notch wideout (though that wouldn't hurt) it's a matter of team philosophy that stretches back all the way to George Halas. The Bears are Defense and Running Game first. The passing game was set up by turnovers, good field position, strong inside running. That meant safety first, opportunistic play calling, quality over quantity when it came to passing yards. Cutler is none of those things. He is a gunslinger. He is a risk taker. You limit him to 25 throws a game you're asking for trouble because at least two of those throws are sure to be INTs. On the plus side he'll also give you four hundred yards and multiple TDs if you let him drop back 35 times or more. It can work for you if you accept it and plan for it. But that means an entire culture change from the coaching staff down. I'm going to give this one to the Bears because when allowed to do his thing, Cutler is a monster at home games. But there's a chance that by this time the Bears are in full blown civil war. (LOSS)

So we reach the Bye week at 4-4 record with the toughest games on the schedule in the rearview mirror. Not a bad a position to be in.

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