We collaborated with our friends up north at FactoryofSadness to get their thoughts on the upcoming battle for Ohio this Sunday in Cleveland. Week 4 of the season could see the Bengals advance to 3-1 or the Browns claw back to .500 two weeks after it appeared the front office had given up on the season. The last four games between these two teams have been decided by 10 points or less. We asked Jared Mueller at FoS what his thoughts were on this weekends game.
1) What is the feeling in Cleveland after trading Trent Richardson then winning this weekend?
Now, following the win against the Vikings, the feel is much better. Had the Browns lost last weekend you could expect a smaller crowd with a great deal of hostility. At first the fan base was angry at the team giving up on the year but as articles and information came out on Richardson’s behavior and performance the fans started to accept this as a possibly positive move. Browns fans are also used to disappointment and move on realtivly quickly to the next issue. GQ saying All Cleveland Franchises are the Worst ever has taken on some of that.http://factoryofsadness.co/2013/09/26/gq-magazine-labels-cleveland-teams-worst-sports-franchise/
2) If Brian Hoyer continues to win is Brandon Weedens career in Cleveland over?
Weeden’s career is already over in Cleveland. He may start another game and stick around next year but there is close to nothing he can do to win over the new regime. Weeden’s age, lack of football IQ and performance was one of the biggest reasons for the Richardson trade. Even if the team could win some games they need a Franchise QB and saw the need for more picks to make that happen.
3) The last 4 games between the Bengals and Browns have been decided by 10 points or less, do you think that will happen again?
I think the Browns and Bengals both are led by great defensive front 7s, talented TEs and their #1 receivers. I expect a close game that comes down to QB play. Of course anything can happen, especially turnovers and injuries, that could make me out to be wrong, but without those significant events, yep expect a close game. In my Matchup Previews (Front 7 Preview, Offensive Preview) I gave the same advantages to each team with the difference being the advantage to the Bengals at QB.
4) What are the strong aspects and weak aspects of this 2013 Browns team?
The strengths of the Browns this year so far is the front 7 and tight end Jordan Cameron. Josh Gordon returned from suspension big last week and should join this list. The front 7 has held Lamar Miller, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson below their expected performances, totally shutting down the first 2. They also have put good pressure on the QB. Cameron has been the biggest surprise to those around the league with his 20 receptions and 4 TDs. The Browns have shown a surprising weakness on the offensive line, especially at RG, which has the line imploding. Outside of Joe Haden the Browns are weak at the CB position with little talent or depth and no height to speak of.
5) The Teddy Bridgewater bowl between Cleveland and Jacksonville will happen later this year, is Bridgewater a good fit for Cleveland or is someone else better suited?
Bridgewater is a good fit anywhere he goes, (Bridgewater Future Franchise Player?). It is likely the Browns FO would have Teddy at the top of their list but that other underclassmen could intrigue them as well, depending on who comes out. Marcus Mariotta and Brett Hundley have the dual threat that the team is looking for but both have great pocket ability. Senior Tajh Boyd and Heisman Johnny Manzel may also be options depending on where the team drafts. They made the Richardson deal to have the chance to move up in the draft if needed to get “their guy.” You can expect a big move at that position this off-season for the team one way or the other.
You can check out their questions to us over at FoS