High-powered Browns take on stingy Colts in showcase game
The browns could be real. The Colts too.
We could find out on Sunday when Indianapolis visits Cleveland. Both teams are 3-1, winners of three in a row and have questions about who they beat.
The Browns were beaten by Baltimore before beating Cincinnati, Washington and Dallas, a record 3-8-1. Indy lost heavily in Jacksonville, which has fallen three straight times since then, and then beat Minnesota, the Jets and Chicago, a combined record 4-8 in Week 5.
This matchup could prove something as Cleveland's dynamic offense comes before the league's stingiest defense.
"This will be the biggest challenge for our defense. They are number 1 in terms of running the ball," said Colts coach Frank Reich. "The other thing that they are number 1 at is explosive games on the fly Game. We have # 1 defense, that's what this is about. We'll see how it stacks up. "
Indeed, says Brown's quarterback Baker Mayfield who won't have a leading rusher Nick Chubb (knee).
“You are a really solid defense. They play together. You are well trained. You drift. You can see the effort. They rave about the ball. "
The action began Thursday evening with Chicago's 8:19 home win over Tampa Bay. Nick Foles defeated Tom Brady again, Cairo Santos stepped 1:17 to the left on a 38-yard field and the Bears held on when Brady apparently lost the number of downs on his last game.
Detroit (1-3) and Green Bay (4-0) had goodbye.
Philadelphia (1-2-1) in Pittsburgh (3-0)
The Pennsylvania showdown hits two teams with first place. Say what?
Yes, the Eagles stand on the miserable NFC East and display the kind of grit and ingenuity any fan base should be proud of. And possibly proud of the city of brotherly love - until they lose again.
Pittsburgh was absent last week while scheduled adversary Tennessee deals with a COVID-19 outbreak. Fans can visit Heinz Field for the first time this season after Pennsylvania officials changed the occupancy guidelines for outdoor events. The stadium's capacity of 67,000 seats will be limited to 5,500.
Buffalo (4-0) in Tennessee (3-0), Tuesday evening
The Bills and Titans may need another Music City Miracle to play this game, which has been postponed to Tuesday. The Titans' coronavirus outbreak, which last week postponed their matchup with the Steelers, has since wreaked havoc.
If they play, anything close to the 2000 playoff game that Tennessee won with this incredible kickoff return would be refreshing.
The bills are 4-0 for the first time since 2008 and aim to start 5-0 for the first time since 1991 en route to a Super Bowl berth. A win would also give the Bills their first winning streak in five games since 2004.
The Titans are 3-0 for the first time in 12 years. Approximately 8,500 fans, or roughly 12.5% of the capacity, will be allowed into the game - when it comes out.
Denver (1-3) in New England (2-2) Monday night
Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore, possibly the Patriots' top two players, have tested positive for coronavirus. New England had a mediocre offensive performance in Kansas City, but the Patriots have won six of the last seven matches between the teams, including four in a row at Foxborough. The Broncos haven't won a street game in the series since 2006 and are given an extra day to prepare for the NFL to move that game daily due to the Patriots outbreak.
Denver linebacker Bradley Chubb led the league with 10 quarterback presses last week and won the Jets. He had 2½ sacks, his first shutdown since returning from a torn ACL.
Las Vegas (2: 2) in Kansas City (4: 0)
The Raiders dropped two straights and this is not a good place to turn it over. They lost their last seven games in Kansas City and five in a row throughout the series.
"It will never be easy," said quarterback Derek Carr, who made nine turnovers in six games at Arrowhead Stadium, resulting in a miserable 63.2 quarterback rating. "We haven't won there as an organization for a while. We have to win there."
Meanwhile, the Chiefs are 4-0, an NFL mark, for the fourth year in a row. They are trying to start 5-0 for the third time in four seasons, have won a franchise record 13 games in a row and their 10-game winning streak in the regular season is the second best in the club's history. In addition, KC have won 28 of their last 30 games against AFC West.
Cincinnati (1-2-1) in Baltimore (3-1)
Joe Burrow looks like the real thing: he's got three 300-yard straight passes, a rookie record. And his top, Joe Mixon, was a stallion.
Still, the Bengals, who took their first win after a draw, face a tough test in Baltimore. The Ravens are 26-11 against AFC North at home under coach John Harbaugh, who took over in 2008. Baltimore is 73:25 overall at home under Harbaugh.
Two of the most productive footballers of the year are presented. The Ravens' Justin Tucker is 8 to 8 in field goals and has an NFL career-best success rate of 91% with FGs. Cincy's Randy Bullock is responsible for the NFL leadership with 45 points.
Miami (1-3) in San Francisco (2-2)
San Francisco is at home 2-0, 2-0 in the New Jersey Meadowlands. Huh?
The Niners can no longer fight in the toughest league in the league, in which Seattle is already 4-0. But at least the 49ers are getting healthier on both sides of the ball.
Miami is playing decently despite its record, only scoring 96-93 points. The game is the first of the dolphins in San Francisco since 2012 and the first on the west coast since 2017.
Los Angeles Rams (3-1) in Washington (1-3)
Ron Rivera has put the supposed future quarterback in the Washington franchise, Dwayne Haskins, on for Kyle Allen. Apparently the team is running out of patience with Haskins' slow training on the offensive.
No such problems in LA, where the Rams attack is buzzing behind Jared Goff and his collection of receivers. Believe it or not, this is the Rams' third trip to the Atlantic side of the nation.
Minnesota (1-3) in Seattle (4-0)
Despite a string of games of chance and a holey defense, the Seahawks have made an excellent start. They've never been 5-0 and when they played the first four games they won the Super Bowl.
Russell Wilson joined Peyton Manning's record of 16 TD passes in the first four games of a season. Wilson has a Career Pass rating of 113.5 in five games against the Vikings.
Minnesota has never beaten Seattle coach Pete Carroll and has lost six straight to the Seahawks since the 2009 win. Dalvin Cook leads the league in rushing yards (424) and has a career-best average of 5.7 yards per carry. Seattle defends the run well, but occupies the last place in the pass defense.
New York Giants (0-4) in Dallas (1-3)
Remember when NBC would come up with this prime time matchup early on in the schedule? Fortunately for the network, it didn't go there in 2020.
The Cowboys and Giants will face the lowest combined winning percentage (1-7, .125) in the series in at least four games. The Cowboys have won six straight games in the 60-year rivalry, their longest streak since winning 12 straight games from 1974 to 1980.
New York is struggling to score and Dallas can't stop anyone.
Los Angeles Chargers (1-3) in New Orleans (2-2) Monday night
A game that could have been played somewhere else when Hurricane Delta threatened the Big Easy. It will happen in the Superdome where the Saints could get their key weapon, 2019 Offensive Player of the Year Michael Thomas, back. The star receiver's ankle injury damaged the offensive in two losses before New Orleans scored five straight TDs for a win in Detroit.
The Chargers lost five games in a row on Monday night and will miss RB Austin Ekeler (hamstring injury). Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert was inconsistent but not overwhelmed.
Arizona (2-2) with New York Jets (0-4)
It looked so good for the Cardinals with their 2-0 start. Then they fell to Detroit and Carolina, not exactly playoff competitors. Of course, the jets appear to be the main contender for the first choice of the overall design.
Kyler Murray leads the NFL quarterbacks at 265 yards and is linked to the New England Cam Newton with four TD runs. DeAndre Hopkins leads the NFL with 39 catches, and veteran Larry Fitzgerald has no TD catches against the Jets - one of only three franchises to hide him. Make sure that changes.
New York is without QB Sam Darnold (shoulder), which means Joe Flacco is trying to get something done.
Jacksonville (1-3) in Houston (0-4)
Sacking a coach who is disrupted by a pandemic at the start of a season like this seems pretty tough. Still, Bill O'Brien is out and about in Houston, and Romeo Crennel becomes the league's oldest head coach at the age of 73. The talent seems to be there for the Texans, but they come last on offense AND defense.
Jacksonville fell to the Texans three times in a row and four straight times in 2020.
Carolina (2-2) in Atlanta (0-4)
Another defeat could pack Atlanta's Dan Quinn like O'Brien, and the Falcons' no-win start is just as puzzling. Accuse everything from a sieve of pass defense to fourth quarter folding to poor coaching.
Even so, they have won five times in a row and eight times in the series.
Carolina has shown a lot of cum under rookie head coach Matt Rhule, however, winning two straight wins and receiving solid offensive posts from everyone as 2019 all-pro Christian McCaffrey (ankle) didn't run back.
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