2009 Browns Season Preview Part One

Andrew LefflerContributor IAugust 6, 2009

CLEVELAND - SEPTEMBER 7:  Cleveland Browns slogan 'Believe in Now' is shown during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 7, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

In part one of my 2009 season preview we will look at weeks 1 through 4.

9/13/09 vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Browns open the season at home once again. Minnesota hasn't played in Cleveland since 1989. The Browns are 1-9 in openers since returning in 1999.

Key Matchups

Jared Allen vs. Browns tackles: Whereever Allen lines up, he is sure to cause problems. He had 14.5 sacks in 2008. Joe Thomas and whomever is playing RT must protect the quarterback to keep the game close.

Jamal Lewis vs. The Vikings D-line: With possible suspensions for the Pat and Kevin Williams, the Browns may have an advantage here. If Lewis can return to his 2007 form he may be able to pick up some great yardage. Look for Davis and Harrison to get more carries to keep Lewis fresh.

Tavaris Jackson vs. Kam Wimbley: With all of the attacking the Browns are talking about this offseason, the defense needs to step up Wimbley especially needs to get going early! If he is able to get to Jackson early, his confidence will go through the roof!

Braylon Edwards vs. Antoine Winfield: Braylon eeds to get some catches early to boost his confidence. If he can break away from Winfield he can have a great day.

Final Score: 17-14 Vikings. Both defenses control the game and it is very entertaining. But the Browns have many questions on offense right now.

9/20/09 at Denver Broncos

The Browns travel to the Mile High City for a week two showdown with new coach Josh McDaniels and his Broncos. They look to avenge their 2008 loss where the defense blew a large lead.

Key Matchups

Kyle Orton vs. Shaun Rogers: The Broncos offensive line is one of the better lines in the league so its important to get to Orton early and often. It will show that this defense is for real. Rogers was the defense last season and should have another great season.

Broncos D vs. The Triple J's: The Broncos were almost as bad as the Browns in stopping the run. They are switching to a 3-4 also. Not an easy transition. Jamal, Jerome, and James may have a huge game.

Josh McDaniels vs. his ego: The rookie head coach has gotten off to a shaky start. He has lost his pro bowl caliber QB, has a disgruntled star receiver, and it seems its his way or the highway. Maybe the thin air has gotten to him. It could be a long season out in the mountains...

Final Score: 27-23 Browns. I say this because the Broncos D couldnt stop anyone last season and are in transtion. Look for a big day out of the Browns RB's. The teams will score. 

9/27/09 at Baltimore Ravens

For the second year in a row, the Browns meet their division Rival Ravans in week three. Last season Derek Anderson imploded and the Browns got blown out.

Key Matchups

Aleck Mack vs. Haloti Ngata: The is probably the biggest matchup of the day. It will be interesting to see if Mack can hang with his first big nose tackle.

Joe Flacco vs. Browns Linebackers: Flacco had a pretty good rookie season. They didnt ask him to do much. The strong running game and defense carried him last season. If the LB's can get pressure, Flacco will get would get flustered and possibly make mistakes.

Anderson or Quinn vs. Ravens secondary: The Ravens lost Chris McAlister and Jim Leonhard in the offesason. Additions Foxworth and draft pick Lardarius Webb will need to step up. If Braylon or Robiskie can get open, look for a couple long TD throws.

Final Score: 20-17 Ravens. They get the edge because they are the home team. Browns could pull it out if they can somehow run the ball against this defense. Easier said than done.

10/04/09 vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Another chapter of The Battle of Ohio. Carson Palmer returns to Cleveland for the first time in two years. A rare home game for the Browns since they play four of their first six games on the road.

Key Matchups

Brandon McDonald vs. Laveraneus Coles: Eric Wright should be ok against Chad Ochocinco. If McDonald wins the job in camp he must step up in this game or it could be a long day by the lake. Palmer has an explosive offense once again, so the defense especially the secondary must play one hell of a game.

Triple J's vs. Bengals front seven: Since we are commited to the run this season, our running backs must get going early. If we can get some yardage on the ground, the play action will open up.

Kenyon Coleman vs. Andre Smith: The Bengals first round pick may  have his hands full with Coleman and the deep D-line CLeveland has. Some are already writing off Smith as a bust even though he hasnt play a single game. Im not writing him off in anyway. With all the blitzing, Smith may be over-matched.

Final Score: 24-17 Browns. Call me crazy, but I think the defense really steps up and keeps the Bengals high-powered offense in check. Another possible big game for the Triple J's.

Look for part two in the coming days...