An inter-conference clash comes from the nation’s capital this week. The Cleveland Browns (0-3) look to break into the win column as they face the Washington Redskins (1-2) Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is at 1 pm from FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Regional TV coverage for the game is provided by CBS. According to the current odds, Washington is a 7.5 point favorite in this contest with the over/under set at 47.5 points.
Cleveland, despite playing a third QB in as many weeks, went to overtime before losing 30-24 to Miami last week. Washington picked up their first win with a 29-27 victory over the Giants on the road last week. This is the 46th all-time meeting between the franchises. Cleveland owns a commanding 33-11-1 lead in the series. Washington won the last two and six of the last eight meetings, including a 38-21 win on the road December 21, 2012. Cleveland’s last win in the series was a 17-13 home win on October 3, 2004.
Cleveland would be a better team if they had half their guys actually on the field. Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown, Corey Coleman and Josh Gordon are all hurt or no longer with the team. The Browns are 25th in passing offense (223.7 ypg) and 4th in rushing (144.7 ypg) this season. Cleveland is tied for 25th in both scoring offense (18 ppg) and scoring defense (28 ppg) this season. Griffin III was 12 of 26 for 190 yards with an interception plus 37 rushing yards. He broke his collarbone in week 1. McCown was 20 of 33 for 260 yards with two touchdowns and two picks. He broke his collarbone in week 2. Rookie Cody Kessler is 21 of 33 for 244 yards and makes his second NFL start in this one.
The run game has been excellent for the Browns as they average 5.7 yards per carry. Isaiah Crowell has 274 yards plus two scores. His 6.1 yard per carry average leads the league but he’s questionable here with a knee injury. If he misses the game, Duke Johnson Jr. (103 rushing yards, 12 receptions) is a bigger factor. Terrelle Pryor has done everything for the Browns so far. He’s 3 of 5 passing for 35 yards, ran for 21 yards and a score and leads the team with 14 receptions for 244 yards. Tight end Gary Barnidge has nine grabs for 103 yards. The Browns need Coleman back: he broke his hand last week in practice. The kicking game is terrible: the Browns missed four field goals and an extra point. Cody Parkey missed three field goals last week that could have given Cleveland the win.
Washington’s offense is clicking everywhere except inside the red zone. The Redskins are just 3 of 14 as far as putting touchdowns on the board in the red zone. Dustin Hopkins has bailed them out with 11 field goals. Washington is 2nd in the league in passing with 330.7 yards per game. The Redskins are 29th in rushing with a 75.7 yard per game average. Washington is 22nd in the league in scoring offense (22.7 ppg) and 29th in scoring defense (30.7 ppg) on the year. Kirk Cousins is 79 of 124 throwing the ball for 989 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Matt Jones leads the ground game with 150 yards plus a score.
Jordan Reed (190 yards) and Jamison Crowder (175 yards, two TD) each have 16 catches to lead the team. DeSean Jackson has 14 catches for 238 yards and a score while Pierre Garcon (13 grabs, 135 yards) is effective as well. The Redskins passing game faces a Cleveland defense that gives up 294.3 yards per game through the air. Opposing QBs complete 59.5 percent of their throws as Cleveland doesn’t generate much pass rush. The Browns have three sacks on the year. Cleveland also allows teams to convert 41.5 percent of their third downs.
The Browns have a rookie QB in Kessler under center for the second straight week. Pryor, who had a big game running, throwing, catching and playing defense, was versatile but the team moving on from Josh Gordon after he checked into rehab is another blow to Cleveland. The Browns don’t have enough pieces, especially if Crowell is out for this one, to get the win. Cleveland battles but Washington’s offensive weapons are too much. Check us out every week for more free NFL picks!
The Redskins are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in Week 4. Washington is also 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record. Cleveland is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game. The Browns are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.