Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thursday Night Prognostication: Buffalo @ Cleveland

Bills @ Browns -4.5

Hexagram 34: Great Strength

In looking at this match up, I couldn't help but take note of the combination of size and athleticism up and down the Browns roster. There's the 6'6 franchise left tackle prototype in Joe Thomas. They have a pair of athletic young big men that can cause major headaches for defenses down the field in the 6'3 Josh Gordon and 6'5 tight end Jordan Cameron. On the defensive side of the ball, you have physical behemoths that move very well for their size like Phil Taylor, Paul Kruger, rookie Ishmaa'ily Kitchen (not a typo), and the dominant lock down corner Joe Haden, whose imposing style feels much bigger than his 5'11 buck ninety frame.
The advantages in size and athleticism that these guys provide will give Cleveland a big boost. The Thomas led line will have to hold their own against an also very big and talented Buffalo d-line. The young receiving threats will have to make big plays against a Bills secondary that is still missing key players like Jarius Byrd and Stephon Gilmore. The big guys up front will have to exploit some weaknesses in the opposing offensive line in order to stop the run, while Haden will be tasked with stopping Stevie Johnson, the visiting team's top option in the passing game. Overall, I think the Browns will use these physical mismatches to bully the visiting Bills and send their record to over .500 for the first time this season.

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