Slumping Browns look to slow Josh Allen, beat Bills in Detroit

CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – No snow bowl. It’s a relocation bowl instead.

The Browns and Bills will play under the big top at Ford Field in downtown Detroit after a blizzard dumped over six feet of snow in Orchard Park, home of Highmark Stadium, the last two days in western New York.

Both teams look to get back on track in Motown. Cleveland has lost five of their last six and comes in 3-6 while the 6-3 Bills have dropped their last two.

What to watch for – Cleveland’s defense has been in disarray all season and the move indoors gives Josh Allen and the Bills top-ranked offense perfect conditions to operate against them. The Browns have surrendered at least 150 rushing yards on the ground four times in the last six games – all losses. Allen is Buffalo’s leading rusher with 476 yards and four touchdowns.
He averages 7.0 yards per carry but is deadlier passing the ball having thrown for 2,733 yards and 20 touchdowns while completing nearly 65% of his passes this season. Allen has been susceptible to turnovers recently having thrown six of his 10 interceptions within the last three games. Allen joined Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck as the only QBs in league history to combine for over 3,200 yards in a team’s first nine games.

Buffalo boasts the double Ds at receiver – Stefan Diggs and Gabe Davis who fuel their aerial attack. Diggs is third in the league in catches and yards with 72 grabs for 985 yards and seven TDs while David has 24 catches for 544 yards and five more scores. With Greg Newsome II out after suffering a concussion during Friday’s practice, Cleveland’s confused secondary will have to fill the void created with his absence.

Conversely, Buffalo’s defense ranks second by allowing 16.7 points per game led by Bills edge rusher Von Miller, who has 8.0 sacks this season which is sixth-most in the league this year. The Bills also are tied for the league lead with 13 interceptions.

Nick Chubb should be well rested after getting limited carries in the Dolphins blowout. The Browns should be motivated to run the ball Sunday. Chubb’s 11 rushing TDs leads the NFL and he’s third in yards with 904. Cleveland’s offensive line acknowledged they played their worst game of the year last week and they’re motivated to return to their usual reliable form this week.

The Browns offense gets a boost this week with the return of tight end David Njoku, who missed the previous two games with a high ankle sprain. Njoku is amid his best season as a pro thanks to increased opportunities. He is third on the team in catches and yards with 34 for 418 and a touchdown.

Browns receiver Amari Cooper only saw three targets that went for 32 yards in last week’s loss to Miami. Cooper still leads the Browns in catches (42), yards (585) and touchdowns (5). Buffalo remains without Pro Bowl cornerback Tre’Davious White so maybe opportunity knocks to pick on a beat up secondary for Jacoby Brissett, who is completing just under 64% of his passes for 2,074 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions.

Last week – Browns lost to the Dolphins 39-17; Bills lost to the Vikings 33-30 F-OT

Last Time – November 10, 2019: Browns 13, Bills 6

Series – Browns lead 12-9

Rankings – Points: Browns 10 (24.1), Bills 2 (27.8)

Yards: Browns 5 (375.9), Bills 1 (424.1)

Rushing: Browns 5 (158.8), Bills 10 (129.9)

Passing: Browns 20 (217.1), Bills 2 (294.2)

Points allowed: Browns 31 (26.4), Bills 2 (16.8)

Yards allowed: Browns 17 (349.1), Bills 8 (319.8)

Rushing yards allowed: Browns 23 (131.1), Bills 7 (109.6)

Passing yards allowed: Browns 19 (218.0), Bills 14 (210.2)

Turnover ratio: Browns T-28 (-5), Bills T-19 (-1)

Projected starters for Browns – Offense: WR Amari Cooper, LT Jedrick Wills Jr., LG Joel Bitonio, C Ethan Pocic, RG Wyatt Teller, RT Jack Conklin, TE Harrison Bryant, WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, QB Jacoby Brissett, RB Nick Chubb, TE

Defense: DE Myles Garrett, DT Jordan Elliott, DT Taven Bryan, DE Jadeveon Clowney, SAM Sione Takitaki, MIKE Deion Jones, WILL Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, CB Greedy Williams, CB Martin Emerson Jr., SS Grant Delpit, FS John Johnson III

Injury report – OUT: S David Bell (concussion), OL Michael Dunn (back), CB Greg Newsome (head), Perrion Winfrey (head); QUESTIONABLE: TE David Njoku (ankle); EXPECTED TO PLAY: RT Jack Conklin (foot/rest), DT Jordan Elliott (personal), C Ethan Pocic (ankle), RG Wyatt Teller (calf), LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (knee)

Uniforms – White jerseys, orange pants.

Broadcast – Radio: 92.3 The Fan, 98.5 WNCX and the University Hospitals Cleveland Browns radio network. TV: WOIO-TV 19 (CBS)

Kickoff – 1:05 p.m. Ford Field – Detroit, Michigan

Prediction – Bills 34, Browns 23

Our record – 4-5

Featured Image Photo Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports