At 2-6, the Browns’ season is practically over. Of course, if you listened to what Freddie Kitchens had to say following last week’s horrible loss in Denver, you might actually believe the team is 0-0 and is playoff-bound! Sadly, we live in the real world. And in that real world, the team will face off against the 6-2 Buffalo Bills at First Energy Stadium.
So, let’s have a look at what’s in store:
The Visiting Buffalo Bills:
The Bills are coming off a week which saw them casually defeat the Washington Redskins at home, 24-9. Overall, Buffalo’s defense has been the proponent for the team’s success this season. By comparison, their offense is hardly noteworthy. The Bills are 23rd in the league in both points scored and yards gained this season, while they rank at a lofty 3rd for both points allowed and yards allowed this season. With 18 total turnovers generated, 12 in fumbles, the Bills defense is firmly middle of the pack in that regard, ranking 15th in the league.
On offense, the Bills are led by the young hurler, Josh Allen. Allen, in his second season, has a 60.9% completion percentage with a 10:7 TD:INT ratio and 1653 yards passed, in his eight starts this year. The Bills are led on the ground by the ageless wonder, Frank Gore, who has gathered 437 rush yards on 106 attempts this season.
The Bills come into Sunday’s game relatively unscathed, as the only player of note they’ll miss will be special teams captain and superstar Maurice Alexander, who also is a backup linebacker. Alexander was placed on IR recently with a knee injury.
At 6-2, the Bills are definite contenders for an AFC Wild Card spot this year. With a win at 7-2, the Bills would be practically assured of said Wild Card spot. They will aim to solidify this status in Cleveland on Sunday.
The Hometown Browns:
As previously mentioned, the Browns lost an embarrassing game in Denver last week by a 24-19 score. With Baker Mayfield having a major regression in his sophomore season, Freddie Kitchens looking completely overwhelmed calling the shots and the team, as a whole, not living up to the hype after a very eventful offseason; the team is pretty much out of the playoff picture at this point.
Olivier Vernon (knee) has already been ruled out of this weekend’s game, dealing a critical blow to an otherwise solid defensive line. Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (knee) is also highly questionable, though he hasn’t practiced all week and seems unlikely to be able to go this weekend. Fortunately, talented guard Joel Bitonio (back) looks to be ready to roll this weekend after logging a full practice on Friday.
It is worth noting that the Browns may play the conservative route with their broken, beaten up team for this weekend, as they’ll embark upon a short week next week, taking on the Steelers at home for Thursday night.
At 2-6, the Browns’ season is pretty much done. That said, lacking a win at home thus far, expect the team to show up to play hard on Sunday, even if their efforts are likely going to be again mitigated by their colossal letdown of a coaching staff.