Following reviewing the matchup in the trenches and then the playmakers and their defenders its time for our official prediction. As noted in those matchup previews we expect a close game. In the matchups the Browns had advantages in 5 of the 9 categories.
Game Log Prediction
The Browns offense will start off slowly, especially against the tough interior of the Dolphins defense. Brandon Weeden will get a first down or two but the team will be forced to punt in the first 2 series. The Dolphins on the other hand will take advantage of a aggressive defensive game plan and score in one of their first two series with a draw, screen or swing pass as the Browns are blitzing. After the first quarter the Browns will be down 7-0 but will be driving going into the second quarter on the legs of outside runs by Trent Richardson.
The Browns will tie the game up in the second quarter on a option route to former Dolphin Devone Bess. The Dolphins and Browns will trade field goals, with their new field goal kickers, in a windy First Energy Stadium. Tie game 10-10.
Following the half the Browns offense and defense will start to roll with with their gameplan and look like they could dominate the game, but 2 drives are stalled by a turnover and a missed field goal. Richardson runs for a touchdown giving the Browns a 17-10 while the Dolphins hit another field goal, 17-13.
The fourth quarter is back and forth. The Dolphins score first on a seam pass to Brian Hartline. The Browns respond with a passing touchdown of their own to TE Jordan Cameron. The Browns are up 24-20 as the fourth quarter hits the 5 minute mark. The Browns are unable to run out the clock or score as the Dolphins pounce on Richardson and the running game. The team is forced to punt with just over 2 minutes remaining. The Dolphins work down the field on short underneath passes to Hartline and Brandon Gibson, with Mike Wallace’s speed keeping the defense honest. The Dolphins are at the 10 yard line with a few seconds left but are unable to punch it in for the win.
Final Score: Browns 24 Dolphins 10
Our full season schedule predictions will be up just prior to the game. Check back after the game to see how close this narrative was to the actual game’s.