The Buccaneers are not in a good situation to face the Browns, with their star cornerback Aqib Talib suspended and their quarterback Josh Freeman suffering from a broken thumb. Here are some of the things that the Browns should do to win the game.
Run the ball
Jake Delhome may be more accurate that either Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson, but the Browns need to switch to smash-mouth football if they want to win this game.
Peyton Hillis seems to be a great add, and James Davis is back, along with Jerrome Harrison, who was amazing during the closing games of 2009 with Cleveland. Add to it the fact that Tampa Bay's defense is one of the worst when it comes to stopping the run, and this should be a no-brainer.
Don't turn the ball over
Jerrome Harrison's preseason blunders of turning the ball over four times is something that Tampa will look to take advantage of. Cleveland had better be ready to make sure that there are no such turnovers.
Along with turnovers, make sure that there are no penalties, either.
Make Sure To Score
The Browns need to manage the clock and dominate the time of possession. Browns should avoid going for high-risk big plays and aim at going steady and scoring the touchdown or the three-pointer.
Any points they can get will be helpful, and the Browns must take a conservative approach to the game.
Frequently blitz the quarterback
Josh Freeman was terrible last year. And this year, he has a thumb injury to attend to. Putting pressure on him more often will force bad throws, which will negate the threat of hyped wide receiver Mike Williams.
Stop The Run
Given the poor pass offense of the Bucs and the fact that their QB has a thumb injury, it is safe to assume that the Buccaneers will be looking to run the ball more than pass.
With Rogers in the lineup alongside Rubin, the Browns Defense should be good against the run, which is a necessity if they want to stop Cadillac Williams and his running back colleague, Huggins.
Beware of Kellen Winslow
The Browns will have to come up with some sort of plan to stop one of the best tight ends currently playing in the NFL, Kellen Winslow Jr.
Time will tell how well Winslow has recovered from his injury, but he is a player who could surely alter the fate of the game.
Embrace the heat
This game is going to take place in hot, hot Tampa Bay, where dehydration and heat exhaustion will be a sure-shot problem. The Browns need to be prepared for this. They need to get more acclimated to the heat there.
It might help if the Brown's running backs would generously apply copious amounts of oily sunscreen just before the game so that they can "slip" away from tight tackles.
Oh, and if Eric Mangini were to really consider that advice, please do not oil up Mr. Jerrome Harrison—he has enough trouble hanging on to the ball as such.
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