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Know Your Enemy: The Cleveland Browns

I don't watch the Browns very often, do you? From what I know, they have a good pass defense, a bad run defense, they pass the ball short a lot, and they have a GM/President named Mike Holmgren. Apart from that, I decided to consult a few Browns' blogs for a little bit better information.

First off, from the blog Waiting for Next Year, Dan Parker shares with us that  the Browns will win if:

"...They make a commitment to run the ball, and don't let their guard down in the secondary. Pat Shurmur's offense has been pass-heavy through five games, and the contract stand-off combined with his limited touches has the locals in Cleveland restless about Peyton Hillis. The offense has sputtered, as some combination of a lack of legitimate receivers combined with shoddy o-line play (Pro Bowl LG Eric Steinbach is out for the entire season) combined with Colt McCoy's stagnated progression have made the passing game fairly flat. If the Browns can find a way to run the ball effectively, it will go a long way toward fixing what ails the passing game by opening things up down the field.

On defense, the Browns have been good against the pass this year, and have struggled against the run. The Seahawks' anemic running game may be just what the doctor ordered in this regard. CB Joe Haden may not be playing in this game, and if so it's only going make things tougher against the pass, as Seattle has a receiver or two to be concerned with. If the Browns can stop the run and get some pressure up front, their secondary should be good enough to keep the Hawks at bay."

If you're wondering, I similarly wrote there that the Seahawks will win if:

"..They can successfully run the ball. The Hawks have yet to effectively run the ball with any consistency this season but the Browns' weakness in run defense could present an opportunity for the Seahawks to finally gain some traction. A good run game is paramount to Pete Carroll's offensive philosophy and having a balance of running and passing has been quite elusive in the early part of his rebuild in Seattle.

In prior games the Seahawks have tried to establish the run by first passing early - this worked against the Giants but against the Browns stiff pass defense they may need to go the opposite route - running hard and effectively to open up the passing lanes. If they can get their trio of Marshawn Lynch, Leon Washington, and Justin Forsett rolling, they could control the tempo, win the time of possession battle, and keep their defense off the field.

Running the ball successfully on the road will help the Seahawks grind away and keep the Browns fans out of the game. If they can manage to string together some first downs with an effective run game, the road ‘dog Seahawks will have a chance to sneak away with a win. If they are unable to run on the pass-stingy Browns defense, it could be a long day."

After the Jump, check out what's being said at SBN Browns' blog Dawgs by Nature...

Bye Week Seemed of No Help to Browns in 24-17 Loss to the Raiders - Dawgs By Nature
Looking at the final score, I'm still amazed that the Browns were in great position to tie this game and force overtime. That was made possible by Hue Jackson's erroneous decision to not kick a field goal to give his team a late three possession lead, but sometimes coaches just have too much faith in their ability to execute that one fourth down play. The Browns still came up short, but I keep thinking back to how memorable this comeback would have been had they completed it.

Shurmur: Greg Little's Progress; James Dockery to Fill in if Needed - Dawgs By Nature
Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur met with the media Thursday morning before practice. This post will only cover what Shurmur said, but as many of you already know, so team team president Mike Holmgren (more on that later). Shurmur primarily talked about the progress of wide receiver Greg Little and how cornerback James Dockery will fill if cornerbacks Joe Haden and Buster Skrine can't play this Sunday.

The Boss Speaks: Mike Holmgren on Hiring an OC, Peyton Hillis, and More - Dawgs By Nature
I was surprised yesterday to hear that Cleveland Browns team president Mike Holmgren was going to talk to the media. It might have been easy to forget that Holmgren was part of the organization, simply because we have not heard from the guy in quite awhile, something that seemed to be a sharp contrast from last year. Holmgren admitted that he has intentionally remained silent.

Shut Down Time - CB Joe Haden Returns to Practice - Dawgs By Nature
While this is by no means a guarantee, cornerback Joe Haden could be set to play this Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. The second-year shutdown corner returned to practice Friday morning for the first time since spraining his knee against the Tennessee Titans back on October 2nd. I can't believe Haden hadn't participated in practice for about 19 days. Another cornerback, rookie Buster Skrine, was also back at practice. The defensive backs unit could be at full strength against the Seahawks.

Game Ball of the Week: Greg Little - Dawgs By Nature
Sunday's loss to the Oakland Raiders was a letdown to Cleveland Browns fans who were hoping for an improved version of a team that was just coming off of a bye week, but wide receiver Greg Little was definitely a bright spot in the game and therefore gets this week's game ball. In his first game as the team's starting receiver, I'm not sure if he ever left the field. He was targeted 12 times by Colt McCoy and came away with a career-best 6 catches for 72 yards.

Power Play of the Week: Dawson's Onside Kick - Dawgs By Nature
When the Cleveland Browns scored their first touchdown in the fourth quarter with just over a minute to go, how many other fans went through this process?