Written by Chad Hahn
On Sunday the Miami Dolphins (2-8) travel to Cleveland to face the Browns (4-6)
Coming into this game Cleveland has won back to back games including beating the Buffalo Bills and last week the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night football, yes the game where the Malay between the Steelers and the Browns occurred. Myles Garrett ripped Mason Rudolph’s helmet off and proceeded to hit Rudolph in the head with his own helmet after being provoked by Rudolph. Because of the Malay, the Browns will be without both Garrett (remainder of the season) and starting defensive lineman Larry Ogunjabi (1 game) for this game.
As for the actual game, the Browns are starting to find their groove as a team. Over the last couple of games quarterback, Baker Mayfield is showing signs of improvement. On paper, the Browns have an extremely talented base that should be able to easily defeat Miami on Sunday, with the likes of star wide receiver’s Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry and running back’s Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
For Jarvis Landry specifically, this does seem like the perfect revenge game against his former ball club, as Miami secondary has been riddled with injuries including Star cornerback Xavien Howard and in addition to that this week the Dolphins placed starting safeties Reshad Jones and Bobby McCain on injured reserve. To fill those roster spots the Dolphins activated rookie linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel and signed safety Adrian Colbert off the Seattle Seahawks practice squad.
For the dolphins they will continue to rely on running back Kalen Ballage as there starting running back as this week they released suspended running back Mark Walton. Miami’s to leading rushers this season are no longer on the roster after this move. Ballage has struggled mightily only averaging 1.9 yards a carry, I believe rookie running back Myles Gaskin and Patrick Laird will be called upon for a bigger role. In addition, because of the struggling running game, the dolphins provide the Browns will probably key their defense around stopping wide receiver Devante Parker as he is having a breakout season after last week’s career-high 135 yards receiving against the Bills.
I fully expect the Browns to try to exploit Miami’s offensive line as they were exploited last week once again against the Bills blitzing defense.
Keys to the game for the Cleveland Browns to extend their winning streak to 3 games against the Miami Dolphins would be to win the turnover battle and to exploit the undermanned secondary with their 2 big names receivers in Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. In addition, a steady diet of running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt would be hard for the Dolphins defense to stop.
Keys to the game for the visiting Dolphins would be limit penalties and mental mistakes as they struggled in that category against the Bills. They need to create game-changing turnovers, and the offensive line needs to play a lot better as the offensive line missed a lot of blocks last week as they resembled a turnstile. The Browns placed starting Safety Morgan Burnett on injured reserve this week so another focal point for Miami could be getting tight end Mike Gesicki involved in seam routes to try to confuse the deep safety, as he has played better in recent weeks.
My prediction is the Cleveland Browns handily take care of the Dolphins by at least two touchdowns as they are just too talented for this year‘s Dolphins team. I expect a heavy dose of Baker Mayfield to both Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry for multiple touchdowns.