At Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, there will be a battle between two young and struggling teams. Even though the Indianapolis Colts (2-3) have a better record than the Cleveland Browns (1-5), it’s hard to disagree that the Browns are in better shape mentally and physically going into their match-up.
The Browns are coming off of their first win of the season, and the Colts are coming off of their worst loss of the season. Both teams have injury issues, but both teams need to overcome those issues and fight out a victory, if they want any chance of staying in playoff contention in the AFC. Both teams have underwhelmed at times this season, but both teams have stables of rookie starters who have looked impressive, even in losses.
The Browns came back into the NFL in 1999, and have only been in one playoff game since. The franchise seems to continuously be in rebuilding mode, and this season is no different. The Browns had the 3rd overall pick in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft, as well as the 22nd pick.
The Browns began their 2012 draft day by taking running back Trent Richardson, who has had an up and down rookie season so far. Richardson has averaged over 15 carries a game, but has not yet went over 20 carries, and has only broke 100 rushing yards once. Richardson took a hard shot last week in a win against The Cincinnati Bengals, and is listed as day-to-day with rib injury issues.
With the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Browns took 28-year old rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden. Weeden, the oldest first-round draft pick in NFL history, spent five years as a pitcher in the MLB, before entering college at Oklahoma State in 2007. Weeden began his Browns career by throwing four interceptions in a week one loss, but has looked promising in several games since. On his 29th birthday, Weedeen won his first game as a pro, throwing for 231 yards and two touchdowns against the Bengals.
The Browns’ record doesn’t quite indicate the level of their talent, but it does show that they are a team still in rebuild mode.