Regression Is Far From Progression For The Cleveland Browns

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Whats Up next for the Cleveland Browns?

The Arizona Cardinals and their top-10 offense–that’s what’s next. Carson Palmer is back from a season ending injury a year ago and has the Cardinals offense flying high. Helping Palmer with the Cardinals’ resurgence is former 2,000-yard rusher, Chris Johnson. As a top-five rusher this season, he unseated opening day starter Andre Ellington after his injury, and hasn’t relinquished the position since.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m scared of what he might do against the Browns’ defense on Sunday. He’s fast, he’s elusive, and he can get to the edge–the Browns’ kryptonite. If the Browns are going to win Sunday, they’re going to have to do what I mentioned above. Pin the edges and get stout up the middle. If memory serves me right, the Browns defense has had some success with bottling Johnson up in the past, but this team and this unit is different.

If there are positives, it’s the return of Joe Haden and Tashaun Gipson in the secondary, and Craig Robertson to the linebacking corps. That alone should help keep Carson Palmer and the passing game in check, unless Johnson goes wild and forces the Browns to put eight men in the box. The Cardinals do have weapons in the passing game, namely former Pro Bowl wideout Larry Fitzgerald who is flourishing again with Palmer back at the helm.

So what’s my call? I expect the Browns offense to continue to produce as long as Josh McCown stays healthy, and they’ll score more than the six points they did last Sunday. However, I fully expect the Cardinals offense to dominate the Browns defense.  Barring a miracle, the Browns will lose 27-17 in a game that might not even be that close.

Next: ESPN Proposed Trade: Browns Should Trade Joe Thomas

That’s it for this week’s look at the Cleveland Browns Factory Lines…I’ll be back later this week looking back not only at Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, but also Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football.