Can the woeful Browns team end the Broncos 9 game win streak?
QB: Brandon Weeden
RB: Trent Richardson
FB: Alex Smith
WR: Gregg Little, Josh Gordon
TE: Ben Watson
Browns Offensive Rankings:
Total Offense: 26th
Passing Offense: 19th
Rush Offense: 25th
Broncos Offensive Rankings:
Total Offense: 5th
Passing Offense: 6th
Rush Offense: 18th
Weeden is having a decent rookie year. On the year Weeden has 3281 yards passing, 14 TD's and 17 Ints. Weeden is completing only 57.2% of his passes and has a QB rating of 72.4 which is among the lowest in the league. Weeden is putting up yards but not TDs, and giving up the ball a little much. Look for the Broncos to pressure Weeden and force him into mistakes. I dont think the Broncos defense will have much of a problem against Weeden, they have shut down much more elite QB's this year.
Peyton Manning has continued his MVP like year. On the year Manning has 4016 yards passing(The 12th time in Mannings career where he surpassed the 4000 yard mark), 31 TD's and 10 Ints. Manning is completing 67.9% of his passes and has a 103.5 QB rating which ranks 3rd highest in the league. The Cleveland defense is about mid pack when it comes to defense. Look for Manning to pick apart the Browns defense. Cleveland does get after the passer, so they could disrupt Manning some. Overall i think Manning keeps up his pace against the Browns at home.
The Running Backs
Rookie Trent Richardson is having a decent rookie year, but injuries have slowed him down. On the year Richardson has 897 yards rushing and 11 TD's. Richardson is averaging 3.5 YPC. Richardson lacks the explosiveness he had earlier this year and has turned more into a grinder, but is a still a tough red zone/goal line runner. Richardson also leads the team in receiving. Richardson has 48 receptions for 352 yards and 1 TD. The Broncos have the number 2 rush defense in the league, and most recently held Ray Rice to 38 yards rushing on 12 carries. Richardson is a grinder and could be a problem for the Broncos defense.
Holy Knowshon Moreno. Moreno has his second straight 100+ yard rushing game with a TD. Moreno looks more patient, making smarter cuts, staying low, and is just being a tough grinding runner. We need Moreno to continue this if the Broncos want to go deep in the playoffs. On the year Moreno has 406 yards rushing and 3 TD's. Since his return to the field, Moreno has been averaging 97.8 yards a game and 121.8 total yards from scrimmage. Moreno has been very good for the Broncos. i'm hoping Moreno keeps this up against the Cleveland Browns 19th ranked rush defense.
The Receivers/Tight Ends:
The Browns gave up a 2nd round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft for Josh Gordon is the Supplemental Draft. Gordon has lived up to the pick. On the year Gordon has 45 reception for 759 yards and 5 TDs and Gregg Little has 44 receptions for 551 yards and 2 TD's. Tight End Ben Watson has 39 catches for 390 yards and 3 TDs. Gordon by far is their best weapon, he's big fast and a deep threat for Weeden. Little is a big athletic receiver, but has hands of stone. Ben Watson (The Tightend who ran down Champ Bailey in the playoff game) is a reliable target at TE. I have faith in Champ and Chris Harris to slow down these guys, but have to be careful not to give up the big play.
Demaryius Thomas is leading the way for the Broncos. DT has 78 receptions for 1210 yards and has 8 TDs. Eric Decker is also having a great year. Decker has totaled 72 receptions for 932 yards and 9 TDs. Both receivers are making Pro Bowl bids for themselves this year. Brandon Stokley who hasn't played much the past month has 37 receptions for 463 yards and for 5 TDs. At tightend Jacob Tamme has been solid as of late. Tamme has 49 catches for 473 yards and 2 TDs. Joel Dreessen has been a solid red zone threat for Manning. Dreessen has 36 receptions for 319 yards and 5 TDs. Manning has been spreading the ball around to all his targets and picking his matchups. Look for Manning to again have a solid game.
The Browns offensive line ranks 8th in the league. They have been protecting Weeden pretty well. The Browns have allowed 26 sacks but 69 QB hits. Behind the Browns offensive line, rushers have averaged 3.9 YPC. Von Miller and company may have a tough time getting after Weeden, so it will be an interesting matchup to watch. Especially LT Joe Thomas against Von Miller or Elvis Dumervil.
The Denver Broncos have the 3rd best Offensive Line in the league. Ryan Clady and company have allowed only 21 sacks and 43 QB hits. They have been without top guard Chris Kuper for most of the year too. Behind the Broncos offensive line, rushers have averaged 3.8 YPC. The Browns defense will have a tough time to get after Manning. They have been protecting him well and Mannings quick release has helped as well. The Broncos rushing YPC average could go up the way Knowshon Moreno has been rushing.