Cleveland Browns: Jacksonville Jaguars Week 11 Q & A

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback DeShone Kizer
DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback DeShone Kizer /

Last week, the Cleveland Browns fell short of their first win of the season. To accomplish that goal and more, they will have their hands full against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Groundhog day is the norm for the Cleveland Browns and their fans. To see a different outcome occur, things have to change. Maybe this is the week Cleveland turns around their season.

For more insight into Sunday’s game, I spoke to Black & Teal Site Expert Billy Long about Cleveland’s upcoming game against the Jaguars.

FoS: Despite how talented Leonard Fournette is, where is the concern level at when you know he goes up against a good Browns’ run defense?

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BT: I don’t know if I would say concern, but there is definitely high importance on Fournette being productive against a good Browns run defense. Last week against the Chargers, Los Angeles loaded the box all game and said “we are not going to let Fournette beat us”, and it almost got them the win.

The Jaguars make no secret to wanting to run the ball to lead the offense, and keeping as much of the load off of Blake Bortles as they can. That will be even more true with the conditions expected in Cleveland on Sunday.

Despite being a Florida team, Jacksonville is built to be a team that can play in tough conditions, when the running game is doing its job. So Fournette finding yards against a stout Browns run defense to stick with what they do best on offense will be key.

FoS: Would this year’s Jags team best comparison be the 2000 Baltimore Ravens given the good defense and run game?

BT: The 2000 Baltimore Ravens is always a difficult comparison given just how dominant that defense was. But I will say that that group is the pinnacle example of what the Jaguars are trying to be. The styles of the two teams are almost identical, as you pointed out.

Jacksonville is doing just enough on offense with heavy emphasis on the run game, and relying on a top defense. That Ravens team accomplished the ultimate goal winning the Super Bowl.

That would obviously be lofty expectations for this year’s Jaguars. But I will say the playmakers are in place, and making the impact needed so far for this defense to be a special group like those Ravens.

FoS: If the Browns needed to excel at one specific thing in order to win what would it be?

BT: If the Browns want to win, running the ball effectively will be their best bet for finding success Sunday. The Jaguars haven’t shown much of a weakness on defense, but when they have had blemishes, it’s been with stopping the run.

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It’s improved mightily since the addition of Marcell Dareus, but pounding the rock is still the best chance, if there is one, to move the ball on the Jaguars.

FoS: What matchups are you looking forward to and why?

BT: Cleveland’s offensive line vs the Jaguars defensive line will be something to keep an eye on Sunday. DeShone Kizer going up against a stacked Jacksonville secondary will be tough as it is, but adding constant pressure to the mix would be a disastrous equation for the Browns.

The Jaguars lead the league in sacks, but couldn’t get Philip Rivers on the ground last week. They are hungry, and will have the young quarterback in their cross-hairs.

Cleveland will have to keep guys like Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue from disrupting the pocket as best they can to have a shot at stealing a win.

FoS: Can Marqise Lee be the WR1 the Jags need or will he be disappointing versus the Browns’ secondary?

BT: I don’t expect Marqise Lee to necessarily have a huge day in the stat sheet, but he will be the go-to target for Bortles on Sunday.

Lee was never pinned to be WR1 at any point this season, but losing Allen Robinson for the year in game one increased the load for Lee, and Allen Hurns getting injured at the end of last week’s game has made Lee the leader of the group against Cleveland.

Rookie Dede Westbrook is expected to make his debut this week, but it will be Lee who Bortles will look to in the passing game. Expect to see Lee having a lot of crossing routes and plays designed to get the ball in his hands in space.

Next: 4 predictions for the Jags' game

FoS thanks Billy for taking the time out to give more insight prior to Cleveland’s Week 11 game. The Browns have their work cut out for themselves. It will be interesting to see if especially on offense, Cleveland can improve enough to win a game.