Preview: Browns vs. Bills

The Browns travel to Buffalo today to take on the struggling Buffalo Bills in what has seemingly become the annual battle of cellar dwellers.  Fortunately for the Browns, they’ve been able escape the death grip that is last place in the AFC North.

The Bills come into today’s game at 2-10 but can not be overlooked as pushovers.  They have been competitive in many of their games and by all accounts are better than their 2-10 record suggests.  The Bills may have finally found a solid core to build around in Ryan Fitzpatrick, Steve Johnson, Fred Jackson, and Lee Evans.  Many in the local media felt that this would be an easy game for the Browns at the start of the year and many still do based on Buffalo’s record.  I think it will be a lot closer, especially considering the weather could play a role in the outcome.

The Browns will come into today’s game being led by Jake Delhomme for the third week in a row.  Once again the main question will be “Can Jake not lose the game?”  It’s an important question.  Even though the Browns have won the past two games with Delhomme under center, it hasn’t exactly gone smoothly.  He’s had a lot of near misses when it come to game changing interceptions.  Hopefully this week isn’t the week.  God, I hate the Jake Delhomme era.

It looks like things will rest squarely on the shoulders of Peyton Hillis for yet another week.  This is beginning to sound like a broken record, but he gives the Browns the best chance for victory.  He’s a beast.  If the weather plays a role and this games a snow game look for a steady diet of Peyton Hillis.  The less the Browns try to throw the ball the better off they’ll be today versus the Bills.

Speaking of Hillis, with 38 more yards he will pass the 1,000 yards rushing mark.  This is significant for two reasons.  First because Hillis would be the third Browns running back to eclipse the 1000 yard mark since Kevin Mack in 1985.  The other two Browns to reach the feat were Reuben Droughns in 2005 and Jamal Lewis in 2007.  The second reason this is significant is because Hillis would be the first white running back since Craig James in 1982 to eclipse 1000 yards rushing.  While I could care less about race and things dealing with race this is important for one reason.  It breaks a stereotype that white running backs have to be big, slow, bulky runners good for nothing but 2 yard gains and blocking.  You can’t help but feel the emergence of Hillis will open some doors for other white running backs.  Kudos Peyton Hillis, even though this is 2010 and race shouldn’t matter in anything, but kudos none the less.

Anyways…

5 Things to Look For:

  1. Can Jake Delhomme PLEASE not lose today’s game?
  2. Will the Browns take advantage of the Bills having one of the worst run defenses in the league and let Peyton Hillis run wild?
  3. How big of a factor will the weather play in today’s game?  Whichever team adjusts better will win the game.
  4. Can the Browns pass defense stop what has become a formidable trio in Ryan Fitzpatrick, Steve Johnson, and Lee Evans?
  5. Jake Delhomme… that is all
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