NFL Opening Week Match-Ups: Browns v. Eagles - Page 2
If we flip this around and look at the Browns receivers Greg Little, Jordan Norwood, and Joshua Cribbs vs. the secondary of Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, once again the Browns are clearly overmatched. Brandon Weeden will need to be patient with his receivers. He can’t force the ball and he certainly can’t put the ball up for grabs too often with this ball hawking defensive unit.
On offense, the Browns also like to run the football. They have 3 that can shoulder the load: Richardson, Montario Hardesty, and Chris Ogbonnaya. The Eagles historically struggle stopping the run and I fully expect the Browns to try to attack their defense in this fashion. The Eagles are without their run stuffer Mike Patterson for at least the first half of the season, but their defensive front 4 are still very solid. The question becomes can the Eagles linebacker fill the gaps and keep Richardson and Hardesty from breaking out?
Other intriguing story lines in this game include: The Eagles special teams coverage units vs. Joshua Cribbs. Cribbs must be accounted for in every return phase of special teams. He is one player on the field for the Browns who is capable of creating a big play any time that he touches the ball.
Prediction: Eagles over the Browns 31 - 17