The Cleveland Browns (1-5) traveled to Lucas Oil Stadium last season and defeated the Indianapolis Colts (2-3), but the landscape of both teams has changed dramatically since then. The Colts and Browns both had many early picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, and are using this season to try and build a solid foundation for the future. Both teams have struggled mightily at some times, and looked promising at other times. On Sunday, the Browns will return to Indianapolis, in hopes of winning their second game this season. The Colts are looking to rebound from their worst loss of the season.
Two rookie quarterbacks will be the main focal point of this game. Although the browns spent the third overall pick in the draft of running back Trent Richardson, the main spotlight will be on rookie quarterback, Brandon Weeden. Wedden and Colts’ rookie quarterback, Andrew Luck, will both have to show their skills and poise, in a game that could very well be pretty sloppy on both sides of the ball. Both quarterbacks will get their opportunities against suspect defenses. Execution and concentration will be key in this match-up of two inexperienced offenses.
Richardson has injured ribs, but is expected to play while wearing a flack jacket under his pads for protection. If the rookie running back can play through the pain, he could possibly have one of his biggest games of the season, against a Colts team that is giving up over 150 rushing yards a game. The Colts run defense is currently ranked 29th in the league.
It’s tough to say whether this game is going to be a slug-fest, or a sloppy mess. The truth is, it’s hard to expect what we will see from either team. These two teams are more similar than just their records indicate. One way or another, the game could be there for the taking, and might end up being decided by which team has the ball last. Both the Browns and the Colts desperately need a win, and desperation is usually good motivation.
Prediction – Colts 30, Browns 27 OT