Battle on the Lake: Packers vs. Browns

Sam OlesonCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2009

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 18: Greg Jennings #85 of the Green Bay Packers tries to break away from Turk McBride #75 of the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on October 18, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 26-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

When the Packers take on the Browns this weekend, they will be going for two wins in a row over mediocre teams.

Coming off their slaughter of the Detroit Lions, the Packers are definitely heading into Cleveland with some confidence. Granted, the Packers played far from a perfect game against the Lions, but they definitely showed what they're capable of if they can all get on the same page.

On the other hand, Cleveland has looked to be possibly the worst team in the NFL at this point.

The Browns are coming into the game with a 1-5 record and appear to be headed nowhere but down.

Almost every facet of the Browns reeks with incompetence and the Packers will look forward to taking advantage of it.

Here's how I see it playing out.


Packers Offense vs. Browns Defense

This really shouldn't even be much of a contest. Simply put, Cleveland's defense is awful. Already 148 points given up and counting.

Aaron Rodgers has proven to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and if he has time, and that's a big if, he should have a big day. Having already given up more than 1,400 yards passing this year, the Browns pass defense is among the worst in the NFL. Rodgers must be salivating at that thought.

Although the Packers definitely have their problems running the ball, the Browns also have their problems stopping the run. The Browns already have given up close to 1,000 yards rushing so it's possible, for the first time this year, that Ryan Grant may have a big game.

The Packers had their troubles converting in the red zone against the Lions, but I think they will definitely have more opportunities to redeem themselves Sunday against the Browns.

Advantage: Packers


Browns Offense vs. Packers Defense

If you thought this matchup would be any more competitive, think again. Similar to their defense, Cleveland's offense is one of the worst in the NFL. They average only 11.5 points per game, for Pete's sake.

In terms of a quarterback, they have no idea what they are doing. Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson ... it doesn't really matter, they've both been terrible. They've only thrown three touchdown passes between them and their combined quarterback rating is around 50.

After a shaky start, Green Bay's pass defense has improved. The Packers are giving up only 192 passing yards a game, good for 10th in the league. If the Packers can pressure the Browns like they did the Lions, you can expect another futile passing game from the Browns.

As far as the run goes, the Browns have had issues there as well. Jamal Lewis is averaging only 3.5 yards a carry.

The Packers' run defense hasn't been great so it's possible the Browns may have some success there, but it's definitely possible that the Packers could shut out two opponents in a row. Just throwing it out there...

Advantage: Packers


Special  Teams

This is the one area where the Browns have an advantage over the Packers.

Cleveland's Josh Cribbs is one of the best return men in the NFL. He is averaging almost 17 yards per punt return and took one back 67 yards for a touchdown on opening weekend.

The Packers return game has been solid despite losing Will Blackmon to injury, but Cribbs is still better than whoever the Packers have back, whether it's Jordy Nelson, Tramon Williams, or Charles Woodson.

As far as kicking goes, Mason Crosby has been solid for the Packers but so has Billy Cundiff for the Browns. Both teams' punters have been solid as well.

Advantage: Browns


Prediction: Packers 35, Browns 10