Miami Dolphins (0-5) at Cleveland Browns (2-3)
Well thanks to Joey Porter running his mouth yet again, all eyes will be on him and Kellen Winslow. If you remember, last year Porter called Winslow a "fag" after the Steelers played Winslow and the Browns. This week, Porter calls out Winslow for being "a receiver" and says that he's "not going to block anybody." Winslow, in response, actually showed some smarts and simply said that he thinks "Joey Porter needs a hug" and that "he's so angry." Smart move by Kellen, which is something I never thought I'd say ever since his "soldier" comment when he was at Miami. Now, the key will be if Joey Porter can finally show up on Sunday rather than doing all his work during the week through the media.
Moving on to the action on the field, I think you really need to understand that this Browns' offense isn't what you're used to seeing in a Browns' offense. This team can score points. Last week against New England's 2nd ranked defense, the Browns put up 353 yards on them, which is over 100 yards more than New England's averaged yards allowed. If they can do that against a top defense, they can easily do at least the same against the disappointing Dolphins defense.
The first thing you need to look at is this running game of Cleveland. Now, Jamal Lewis is likely not going to play. This means that Jason Wright will get the start. Last week against the Patriots, filling in for the injured Lewis, Wright picked up 59 yards on 15 carries. The question with Wright, who in 4 years has never carried the ball in a game more than 18 times, is if he can be effective being handed the ball 20+ times. I'm sure the Browns are well aware that the Dolphins, despite last week's good effort, are having trouble stopping the run. So we'll likely see Wright get the ball early on, testing Miami's rush defense. This Browns' offensive line has played surprisngly well, too. The return of Channiong Crowder and Donovin Darius to this Dolphins defense will be huge, though. If I had to make a prediction, I'd say that the Dolphins will be ableto contain Wright. But that's not what I'm worried about for Sunday.
So what am I worried about? How about the 9th ranked passing attack led by, yes indeed, Derek Anderson. That's right. Derek Anderson is making me nervous. And why not? He's on pace for 4,000 yards passing and 35 touchdowns. Of course, he also throws a lot of interceptions. Unfortunately for us, though, the Dolphins tend to not make many intercetptions. Anderson is the type of quarterback I really don't like playing against because he's a player who really has nothing to lose. He knows Brady Quinn is the future of that team and that he's just keeping the seat warm for him. That means he can go out there and be a gunslinger, playing with reckless abandon. And the reason he's been relatively successful in doing that is because he has many different weapons at his disposal. That's right, this is definitely not your typical Browns' offense.
It'll likely be the job of Will Allen to try and slow down Braylon Edwards. Edwards is 4th in the NFL in receiving yards with 485 and is averaging over 20 yards per reception. He's big (6'3), strong, fast, and has great hands. Oh, and he's friggin pissed off at the Dolphins. Yup, he, like Brady Quinn I'm sure, hates the Miami Dolphins. Why? Maybe it's because the Dolphins might have told him they were drafting him and then selected Ronnie Brown instead (a pick that I love, by the way, though Edwards wouldn't have been a bad choice). So he'll be playing this game with a chip on his shoulder, which is not a good thing for Will Allen and the Dolphins secondary.
Then there's the aforementioned Kellen Winslow. Winslow will also be playing with a chip on his shoulder. I guess if I was called a "fag" by a grown man, I'd be pretty angry too. Then Joey Porter goes and stokes the fire yet again this week by making the remarks we talked about earlier. And Winslow might be the most overlooked tight end in the game. Incase you didn't realize, he's currently 7th in the NFL in receiving yards with 416. Only one tight end has more, and that's the great Antonio Gates. At 6'4, 248, he's going to create matchup nightmares for the Dolphins. He's too big and strong for a defensive back and too fast for a linebacker, no matter what Joey Porter tells you. Perhaps the physicality that Donovin Darius will provide will make Winslow uncomfortable on Sunday, but I'm not so sure.
And as if having 2 players in the top 7 of receiving yards wasn't enough to worry you, you also need to remember that the Browns have Joe Jurevicius. He is questionable to play, but if he does, he brings another set of sure hands to the party. He's also a force inside the redzone thanks to his 6'5 frame. This season, he has just 12 catches, but 3 of them are for touchdowns. And former Giant Tim Carter is my sleeper for the week. He stepped in and played well last week against New England, with 3 catches for 50 yards and a touchdown. He's got very good speed and can get behind the defense in a hurry. Of course, he could always pull a muscle putting his cleats on before the game, too. But if he doesn't and he makes it to the field healthy, he's just another annoyance the Dolphins defense will have to worry about.
So will this week be the week the Dolphins get that elusive victory? Your thoughts below...