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Indianapolis Colts vs. Cleveland Browns Pick & Prediction OCT 11TH 2020

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Maybe the experts were right about the Cleveland Browns.

 

Just a year later than predicted.

 

Winner of three straight, Cleveland is tied for second place in the AFC North as it enters a big one Sunday at home with the Indianapolis Colts at FirstEnergy Stadium.

 

Expected to contend for a playoff spot in 2019 after a great finish to 2018, the Browns instead were among the league's biggest disappointments. Undisciplined, inconsistent and not cohesive, they wobbled to a 6-10 record and got coach Freddie Kitchens fired after just one year on the job.

 

Kevin Stefanski was seen by some as another "settle" hire by Cleveland, but the former Vikings offensive coordinator has tapped into a formula Kitchens couldn't. The Browns (3-1) lead the league in rushing and are fourth in scoring, enabling third-year quarterback Baker Mayfield to become more efficient and less mistake-prone.

 

"It's about understanding our guys," Stefanski said. "I think I'm getting a better grasp of what our guys are good at, and we have to double down on those things and protect our things. We have a bunch of guys who are working hard and want to contribute to this."

 

One of those guys is out of the equation this week. Nick Chubb, the league's third-leading rusher with 335 yards, injured his knee in the first half of last week's wild 49-38 win at Dallas. But Cleveland showcased excellent depth at running back in former Chiefs star Kareem Hunt (71 yards, two touchdowns) and rookie D'Ernest Johnson (95 yards).

 

That said, Hunt, Johnson and a good offensive line might have a tougher assignment this week. Even if Indianapolis (3-1) has to play without stud linebacker Darius Leonard, who missed the second half of last week's 19-11 win in Chicago, it still has a defense that is allowing a league-low 14 points per game and leads the NFL with seven interceptions.

 

But Colts coach Frank Reich, whose team has won three straight since a shocking Week 1 loss at Jacksonville, says the Browns pose a difficult task for his club.

 

"This will be our defense's biggest challenge," Reich said. "You know, you've got the No. 1 offense as far as running the ball. The other thing is that they're No. 1 at explosive plays in the running game."

 

Indianapolis' offense has had to reboot a bit after losing 1,000-yard rusher Marlon Mack to a season-ending Achilles' rupture in the loss at Jacksonville. But rookie running back Jonathan Taylor has played well in Mack's place, averaging 75.7 yards in three games as a starter.

 

It's also helped that veteran quarterback Philip Rivers has hit the ground running in his first year with the Colts after 16 seasons with the Chargers. Rivers is completing nearly 73 percent of his passes, characteristically spreading the wealth among a deep receiving corps.

 

Rivers is enjoying the opportunity to play complementary football with an excellent defense, something he couldn't always do with the Chargers.

 

"Our job is to score one more point than the defense allows," he said. "Certainly the way our defense is playing and the confidence that we have in our defense, it would be crazy for me to say I expect our D to give up a lot of points."

 

Leonard (groin) and linebacker Bobby Okereke (thumb) didn't practice on Wednesday, and left tackle Anthony Castonzo (rib) also sat out practice. Cleveland defensive tackles Sheldon Richardson (thigh) and Larry Ogunjobi (abdomen) were absent from practice on Wednesday.

 

--Field Level Media

 

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Indianapolis Colts

Cleveland Browns

Player Position Lineup
Denico Autry primary: Defensive End Starter
Jack Doyle primary: Tight End Starter
Mark Glowinski primary: Right Guard Starter
T.Y. Hilton primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Justin Houston primary: Defensive End Starter
Marcus Johnson primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Ryan Kelly primary: Center Starter
Kenny Moore II primary: Cornerback Starter
Quenton Nelson primary: Left Guard Starter
Bobby Okereke primary: Strong Outside Linebacker Starter
Zach Pascal primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Braden Smith primary: Right Tackle Starter
Grover Stewart primary: Nose Tackle Starter
Anthony Walker primary: Middle Linebacker Starter
Khari Willis primary: Strong Safety Starter
Rock Ya-Sin primary: Cornerback Starter
DeForest Buckner primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Philip Rivers primary: Quarterback Starter
Le'Raven Clark primary: Offensive Tackle Starter
Xavier Rhodes primary: Cornerback Starter
Jonathan Taylor primary: Runningback Starter
Julian Blackmon primary: Free Safety Starter
Mo Alie-Cox primary: Tight End Substitution
Ben Banogu primary: Defensive End Substitution
Ashton Dulin primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Daurice Fountain primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Zaire Franklin primary: Linebacker Substitution
Nyheim Hines primary: Runningback Substitution
Tyquan Lewis primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Al-Quadin Muhammad primary: Defensive End Substitution
George Odum primary: Safety Substitution
Luke Rhodes primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Rigoberto Sanchez primary: Punter Substitution
E.J. Speed primary: Linebacker Substitution
Jordan Wilkins primary: Runningback Substitution
T.J. Carrie primary: Cornerback Substitution
Trey Burton primary: Tight End Substitution
Isaiah Rodgers primary: Cornerback Substitution
Jordan Glasgow primary: Linebacker Substitution
Rodrigo Blankenship primary: Kicker Substitution
Taylor Stallworth primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Tavon Wilson primary: Safety Substitution
Tremon Smith primary: Cornerback Substitution
Chaz Green primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Ibraheim Campbell primary: Safety Substitution
Jacoby Brissett primary: Quarterback Did not play
Anthony Castonzo primary: Offensive Tackle Not active
Jake Eldrenkamp primary: Guard Did not play
Darius Leonard primary: Linebacker Not active
Jacob Eason primary: Quarterback Not active
Danny Pinter primary: Guard Did not play
Dezmon Patmon primary: Wide Receiver Not active
Noah Togiai primary: Tight End Not active
Eli Ankou primary: Defensive Tackle Not active
Ron'Dell Carter primary: Defensive End Not active
Player Position Lineup
Odell Beckham Jr. primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Joel Bitonio primary: Left Guard Starter
Myles Garrett primary: Defensive End Starter
Porter Gustin primary: Defensive End Starter
Kareem Hunt primary: Runningback Starter
Jarvis Landry primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Baker Mayfield primary: Quarterback Starter
Terrance Mitchell primary: Cornerback Starter
Sheldon Richardson primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Wyatt Teller primary: Right Guard Starter
JC Tretter primary: Center Starter
Denzel Ward primary: Cornerback Starter
Austin Hooper primary: Tight End Starter
Jack Conklin primary: Right Tackle Starter
B.J. Goodson primary: MIKE Linebacker Starter
Andrew Sendejo primary: Free Safety Starter
Kevin Johnson primary: Defensive Back Starter
Jedrick Wills Jr. primary: Left Tackle Starter
Rashard Higgins primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Malcolm Smith primary: Weak Outside Linebacker Starter
Ronnie Harrison Jr. primary: Strong Safety Starter
Vincent Taylor primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Stephen Carlson primary: Tight End Substitution
Jamie Gillan primary: Punter Substitution
Dontrell Hilliard primary: Runningback Substitution
Chris Hubbard primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Charley Hughlett primary: Long Snapper Substitution
D'Ernest Johnson primary: Runningback Substitution
Kendall Lamm primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
David Njoku primary: Tight End Substitution
Sheldrick Redwine primary: Safety Substitution
Sione Takitaki primary: Linebacker Substitution
Tavierre Thomas primary: Cornerback Substitution
Olivier Vernon primary: Defensive End Substitution
Mack Wilson primary: Linebacker Substitution
Andy Janovich primary: Fullback Substitution
Adrian Clayborn primary: Defensive End Substitution
Jordan Elliott primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Jacob Phillips primary: Linebacker Substitution
Harrison Bryant primary: Tight End Substitution
Nick Harris primary: Center Substitution
Donovan Peoples-Jones primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Jovante Moffatt primary: Safety Substitution
M.J. Stewart Jr. primary: Cornerback Substitution
Cody Parkey primary: Kicker Substitution
Tae Davis primary: Linebacker Not active
Larry Ogunjobi primary: Defensive Tackle Not active
Taywan Taylor primary: Wide Receiver Not active
Greedy Williams primary: Cornerback Not active
Case Keenum primary: Quarterback Did not play
Evan Brown primary: Center Not active
Karl Joseph primary: Safety Not active
Joe Jackson primary: Defensive End Did not play
Joey Ivie primary: Defensive Tackle Did not play

Indianapolis Colts

Cleveland Browns

  • Match Start
  • Period 1
  • MIN 6
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 4 Yards
    • Rusher: Jonathan Taylor
    • Conv Kicker: Rodrigo Blankenship
  • MIN 10
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 24 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Cody Parkey
  • Period 2
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 36 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Cody Parkey
  • MIN 5
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 15 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Rashard Higgins
    • Conv Kicker: Cody Parkey
    • Passer: Baker Mayfield
  • MIN 10
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 32 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Rodrigo Blankenship
  • MIN 14
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 2 Yards
    • Passer: Baker Mayfield
    • Pass Receiver: Kareem Hunt
    • Conv Kicker: Cody Parkey
  • Period 3
  • MIN 3
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 37 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Rodrigo Blankenship
  • MIN 12
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Kickoff Return
    • 101 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Rodrigo Blankenship
    • Kickoff Returner: Isaiah Rodgers
  • MIN 12
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Interception Return
    • 47 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Cody Parkey
    • Interception Returner: Ronnie Harrison Jr.
  • Period 4
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 46 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Cody Parkey
  • MIN 2
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 25 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Rodrigo Blankenship
  • MIN 14
    • scoring-play
    • Safety
    • Penalty in end zone
    • Safety Penalty Committer: Philip Rivers
  • Match End

GAMES

Last 10

W 60% L 40%
6 4
  • @Buffalo L 24 - 27
  • Jacksonville W 14 - 28
  • @Pittsburgh L 24 - 28
  • Houston W 20 - 27
  • @Las Vegas W 44 - 27
  • @Houston W 26 - 20
  • Tennessee L 45 - 26
  • Green Bay W 31 - 34
  • @Tennessee W 34 - 17
  • Baltimore L 24 - 10
W 70% L 30%
7 3
  • @Kansas City L 17 - 22
  • @Pittsburgh W 48 - 37
  • Pittsburgh W 22 - 24
  • @N.Y. Jets L 16 - 23
  • @N.Y. Giants W 20 - 6
  • Baltimore L 47 - 42
  • @Tennessee W 41 - 35
  • @Jacksonville W 27 - 25
  • Philadelphia W 17 - 22
  • Houston W 7 - 10

Last Meetings

  • Colts @ Browns 23-32
  • Browns @ Colts 21-18
  • Browns @ Colts 28-31
  • Colts @ Browns 25-24
  • Browns @ Colts 6-27
  • Browns @ Colts 13-17
  • Browns @ Colts 27-19
  • Colts @ Browns 10-6

American Football Conference

AFC EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Buffalo Bills133 0.8130.00.00.0 7-16-29-0-1
Miami Dolphins106 0.6253.00.00.0 5-35-37-0-3
New England Patriots79 0.4386.00.00.0 5-32-65-0-5
New York Jets214 0.12511.00.00.0 1-71-72-0-8
AFC NorthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Pittsburgh Steelers124 0.7500.00.00.0 7-15-36-0-4
Baltimore Ravens115 0.6881.00.00.0 5-36-26-0-4
Cleveland Browns115 0.6881.00.00.0 6-25-37-0-3
Cincinnati Bengals411 1.2677.50.00.0 3-51-63-1-7
AFC SouthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Indianapolis Colts115 0.6880.00.00.0 6-25-37-0-3
Tennessee Titans115 0.6880.00.00.0 5-36-26-0-4
Houston Texans412 0.2507.00.00.0 2-62-63-0-7
Jacksonville Jaguars115 0.06310.00.00.0 1-70-81-0-10
AFC WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Kansas City Chiefs142 0.8750.00.00.0 6-28-09-0-1
Las Vegas Raiders88 0.5006.00.00.0 2-66-25-0-5
Los Angeles Chargers79 0.4387.00.00.0 4-43-55-0-5
Denver Broncos511 0.3139.00.00.0 2-63-53-0-7

National Football Conference

NFC EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Washington Football Team79 0.4380.00.00.0 3-54-46-0-4
Dallas Cowboys610 0.3751.00.00.0 4-42-64-0-6
New York Giants610 0.3751.00.00.0 3-53-55-0-5
Philadelphia Eagles411 1.2672.50.00.0 3-41-73-1-7
NFC NorthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Green Bay Packers133 0.8130.00.00.0 7-16-28-0-2
Chicago Bears88 0.5005.00.00.0 3-55-33-0-7
Minnesota Vikings79 0.4386.00.00.0 3-54-46-0-4
Detroit Lions511 0.3138.00.00.0 1-74-42-0-8
NFC SouthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
New Orleans Saints124 0.7500.00.00.0 6-26-28-0-2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers115 0.6881.00.00.0 5-36-27-0-3
Carolina Panthers511 0.3137.00.00.0 2-63-52-0-8
Atlanta Falcons412 0.2508.00.00.0 2-62-63-0-7
NFC WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Seattle Seahawks124 0.7500.00.00.0 7-15-37-0-3
Los Angeles Rams106 0.6252.00.00.0 6-24-46-0-4
Arizona Cardinals88 0.5004.00.00.0 4-44-44-0-6
San Francisco 49ers610 0.3756.00.00.0 1-75-33-0-7

Last Injuries