NFL  > Cleveland Browns  > Browns 09 Schedule Third Quarter
May 21, 2009, 10:14 PM
So coming out of the Bye week I had the Browns at 4 and 4, a pretty safe record. But safe is boring. Time to stick the ole neck and see if it gets cut off.

RAVENS: Mangini will be preparing for this one like it's the Super Bowl. He knows, even if everything else goes wrong that if he wins this one and the Dec. 10 tilt with the Steelers and he'll be a God on Lake Eerie. Easier said than done I know, but with a week to prepare, homefield advantage and an opposing QB who's in the middle of his second season he should just pull it off. That plus the Browns have played the Baltimore much better than they have the Steelers in the last several seasons. (WIN)

AT LIONS: I know Detroit is trying to take heart. They look at Atlanta last year and say "Hey we can do it. We can go from doormat to powerhouse in one season." Well there are a few howevers. That Atlanta team included a number of guys still on it from when Mike Vick took them to the playoffs in 04. Detroit sucked in 04 and 05 and 06 and 07. Matt Ryan wasn't the only new face on the Falcons' offense. He was joined by rookie OT Sam Baker and newly acquired RB Mike Turner. Detroit will pretty much field the same offense as it did in 08 except they'll have a rookie QB under center. I mean if they do improve, Duante Culpepper should feel insulted. (WIN)

AT BENGALS: This is the game that will tell us what Mangini really is as a head coach. It's one thing to lose to Baltimore or Pittsburgh who have been stocking their shelves with talent for nearly a decade now. But Cincy is a different cat altogether. Mike Brown would rather captain the Titanic than be a passenger on the Queen Mary. Cincy is a lousy organization yet always the Browns come up short when they visit. Cincy will be down again this year. You don't spend a season as the 32nd offense without total disarray on that side of the ball. Mangini needs to press hard, make no excuses and close out. From what I've seen so far, he'll do it. (WIN)

CHARGERS: Another powerhouse unless Norv Turner continues the trend of winning 3 fewer games from the season before, in which case these guys will be 5-11 this year. I'm still not sold on Turner as a coach. His streak of failure is just too long and too recent. He does however field a team as good as any in the NFL. They play in the weakest division in football and they'll probably have it sewn up at or near this time. But it's still way to early for them to pack it in like the Cardinals did last year. They'll come out firing. I think Mangini and his boys will give them a run. Playing competitively with a team like this is as good as victory of this bunch. But superior talent will carry the day for San Diego. (LOSS)

So after three quarters of a season the Browns will be a shocking 7 and 5. I know I'm reaching a little bit but I believe Mangini will go after those conference games like a hungry pitbull after a steak and he has a lot of tricks in his bag. We shall see.

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