Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns: Previewing battle of .500 teams on Thursday Night Football

With the Buffalo Bills hitting the road to face the Cleveland Browns in an early Week 5 matchup, a slight edge in the AFC’s postseason race is at stake.

Each team is sporting a record of 2-2 right now as Buffalo has traded wins and losses every week thus far and Cleveland is riding a two-game winning streak. Whichever team propels itself to 3-2 will gain some much needed confidence as we near the midseason mark.

So let’s analyze the Bills and Browns in this crucial AFC cross divisional bout.


Spread: Browns -3.5

*Note: Spread info courtesy of FootballLocks.com


Bills Offense vs. Browns Defense

EJ ManuelHere, we see two aspects of teams that have produced rather differently. Buffalo’s offense has not been consistent, while Cleveland’s defense has been very reliable.

The Bills move better on the ground, but they’ve already fumbled the ball six times (seven if you count the passing game). But Fred Jackson is averaging 5.3 yards per carry and Buffalo averages 152 yards rushing as a team. That said, fumbles are costly for killing drives and Buffalo’s passing game isn’t explosive enough to take care of things on its own.

Meanwhile the Browns’ defense simply didn’t get much help from the offense in the team’s first two games. And yet, the defense has been suffocating the line of scrimmage and locking down in coverage, while the pass rush has been excellent.

Throughout this game Cleveland will be tough to bend, let alone break. Buffalo hasn’t shown any consistency throwing or running and the Browns are just the opposite. The Bills also don’t have the best pass protection either.

Browns Offense vs. Bills Defense

An intriguing matchup here, as Cleveland found new hope in quarterback Brian Hoyer, but still lacks a rushing attack. On the flip side, Buffalo does well in coverage, limiting completions but it has allowed nine passing scores.

The deal-breaker will be the Browns’ pass protection. Buffalo has collected 13 sacks thus far and the Browns have only given up six sacks of Hoyer (through his two games). If the Bills aren’t able to get solid pressure, Cleveland will establish balance early and gradually pull away. Plus, with the better defense to get more possessions, the Browns will simply have more opportunities to win the field-position battle and score.

The Bills have only given up a 53.8 completion percentage to this point and the Browns, although improved, still need to keep developing their aerial assault. Nevertheless, the major disparity is Cleveland continuing to build consistency lately compared to Buffalo remaining stagnant.

Special Teams

Of all the returners in this game, Jim Leonhard is the most experienced but remains a possession guy for that role. In short, don’t expect any big plays on kickoff or punt returns. The Browns are getting nice production from Greg Little and Bobby Rainey on kickoffs, but nothing that has broken a game open.

But field goals may have an impact.

Billy Cundiff for the Browns whiffed on two attempts in Sunday’s win over Cincinnati, but fortunately has the leg to connect from 50-plus yards. Buffalo’s Dan Carpenter can also knock the ball in from downtown and he has attempted more and is more consistent. So, should the Bills find a way to move the rock decently well, expect Carpenter to play a key role.

Expect punting to impact the game more than you’d think. Cleveland’s Spencer Lanning and Buffalo’s Shawn Powell have combined for 18 punts spotted inside the 20-yard line, and the coverage teams are allowing fewer than 10 yards per return.


The defenses have a leg up in this contest. Cleveland, however, is better in that regard and the Browns are gaining momentum offensively.

Buffalo certainly sports the much better rushing attack to shorten the game and control the tempo. Should the Bills keep the Browns off balance and honest with the 1-2 punch of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, Cleveland will be in trouble, especially in the second half.

The downside for Buffalo is its aerial game as EJ Manuel remains a work-in-progress. In addition, the Browns have the coverage to lockdown in one-on-one situations and they rush the passer well. That will be the ultimate deciding factor in this contest.

Cleveland is establishing itself as a complete defense by comparison. Factor in the consistency also unfolding for the Browns’ offense and Buffalo will fall short in the second half.

Pick: Cleveland straight up & against the spread

Browns 24, Bills 13


Follow John on Twitter @Rozum27


  1. rigtig sød tanke og god ide, deltager meget gerne med 5 lodder. Pengene er netop ovebÃf¸rt.HÃ¥rer hun hurtigt fÃ¥r rÃ¥d til mindst en ny maskine, sÃ¥ hun kan komme videre.KH Micha

  2. I as well conceive so, perfectly indited post!

  3. I was honored to obtain a call from a friend as soon as he observed the important tips shared
    in your site. Browsing your blog posting is a real brilliant experience.
    Thank you for thinking about readers just like me, and
    I would like for you the best of achievements like a professional in this surface area.

  4. You are so cool! I do not suppose I have read something like that before.
    So good to discover another person with original thoughts on this
    issue. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that
    is required on the internet, someone with a little originality!

  5. Hi there I am so thrilled I found your web site, I really found you
    by error, while I was searching on Askjeeve for something else, Regardless I am here now
    and would just like to say many thanks for a fantastic post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have
    time to go through it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also
    added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time
    I will be back to read a great deal more,
    Please do keep up the superb b.

  6. Howdy! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the
    same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work
    on. You have done a outstanding job!

  7. I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog. I’m hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal website now ;)|

  8. I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your web site.
    Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems?
    A handful of my blog readers have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox.

    Do you have any advice to help fix this problem?

  9. It’s actually a great and helpful piece of information. I am happy that
    you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. But a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw great style.

  11. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
    It’s the little changes that make the most significant changes.

    Thanks a lot for sharing!

  12. Having read this I thought it was really enlightening.
    I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this
    informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending way
    too much time both reading and posting comments. But so
    what, it was still worth it!

  13. I was able to find good advice from your content.

  14. If some one desires expert view concerning blogging and site-building after that i advise him/her to go to see this website, Keep up the pleasant job.

  15. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your site offered us with valuable info to work on.
    You’ve done an impressive job and our whole community will be
    thankful to you.

  16. I do agree with all of the ideas you have presented on your post.
    They are really convincing and will certainly work.
    Still, the posts are very short for beginners. May you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time?
    Thanks for the post.

  17. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as
    well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a
    paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare
    to see a great blog like this one these days.

  18. WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for ig

  19. Heya just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the
    pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I
    think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different
    browsers and both show the same outcome.

  20. Hello, i believe that i saw you visited my site
    so i came to return the choose?.I am attempting to to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its adequate
    to use a few of your ideas!!

  21. Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe this web site needs
    a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the advice!

  22. Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little
    lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid
    option? There are so many options out there that I’m
    completely overwhelmed .. Any tips? Bless you!

  23. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your website provided us with valuable info to work on. You
    have done a formidable job and our entire community will be
    thankful to you.

  24. This page certainly has all the information I needed concerning this
    subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  25. Hi, I do think this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it ;
    ) I may come back yet again since i have saved as a favorite it.
    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you
    be rich and continue to help others.

  26. Valuable information. Lucky me I discovered
    your website by chance, and I am stunned why this
    coincidence didn’t took place earlier! I bookmarked it.

  27. I do accept as true with all the concepts you have
    presented to your post. They are really convincing and will definitely work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are too short for starters. May you
    please lengthen them a little from subsequent time?
    Thank you for the post.

  28. Thankfulness to my father who shared with
    me on the topic of this blog, this weblog is genuinely

  29. Every weekend i used to pay a quick visit this web page, because i want
    enjoyment, since this this web site conations truly pleasant funny data too.

  30. I’ve been browsing on-line greater than three hours
    as of late, but I never found any attention-grabbing article like yours.
    It is lovely price sufficient for me. In my view, if
    all website owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you probably did, the
    internet might be a lot more useful than ever before.

  31. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before
    but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new
    to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and
    checking back often!

  32. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging
    for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look
    of your web site is wonderful, as well as the content!

  33. Awesome issues here. I am very happy to look your article.
    Thank you a lot and I’m looking ahead to contact you.

    Will you please drop me a mail?

  34. Wow! In the end I got a website from where I be able to really
    take valuable data concerning my study and knowledge.

  35. I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail
    on the head. The problem is something not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy that I came across this in my search for something
    relating to this.

  36. Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam responses?
    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you
    can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving
    me mad so any support is very much appreciated.

Speak Your Mind