Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Colt McCoy's Future Begins Sunday
Whether or not Colt McCoy should start on Sunday seems to be a moot point as we sit here looking down the Cleveland Browns' injury list as they prepare to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Jake Delhomme now has both a high and a low ankle sprain and clearly should have not been in the game in the second half last week. Seneca Wallace was seen walking through the locker room on Friday, his leg immobilized in a walking boot with a high ankle sprain of his own.
Unless something strange happens, Colt McCoy gets to take off his red shirt and make his first NFL start six weeks into the season behind a suspect offensive line against one of the best defenses in the league.
So how's your week going?
The Browns offensive line has been inconsistent this year as they opened lots of holes for Peyton Hillis to smash his way down the field, but have allowed two quarterbacks to be injured in five weeks.
Left tackle Joe Thomas has been uncharacteristically burned a few times this season, but he also reportedly lost 26 lbs. in one day due to dehydration. Speculation has been the three games the Browns have played so far in very hot conditions have had an adverse affect on Thomas' ability to play.
Heat shouldn't be an issue this weekend, so all anyone can do is hope Thomas has finally recovered from his heat-related ailments.
As for the rest of the line, center Alex Mack and right guard Floyd Womack sat out practice with injuries, and rookie Shaun Lauvao finally returned to practice and is expected to play this weekend.
Predicting what Colt McCoy will do behind the line is tricky because you can't fall back on what he did in college. The NFL is a completely different animal, and the Browns' coaching staff has to prepare McCoy not only for the speed of the NFL game, but for the multiple defensive fronts he will be facing.
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau isn't one of the best in the business at his job by chance, he earned that title by putting one of the best defenses out on the field year after year, and this year is no different.
The Browns trade for Mike Bell came for two reasons, Hillis is nursing an quadricep injury and even though he'll probably play, his effectiveness will be in question and his touches probably will be limited. The few efforts to get Jerome Harrison into a game this season produced nothing, so he was traded for Mike Bell.
How much of an impact Bell may have is unknown, but James Davis now is reportedly healthy again and most likely will see significant playing time on Sunday.
Turning to the defense, the Browns line has proved they can get to Ben Roethlisberger by sacking him eight times last December. However, the Browns secondary has proved they can be torched eight ways to Sunday, and Roethlisberger is very good at eluding whatever blitz packages are thrown his way.
The Browns offense most likely will come out and try and establish the run to take pressure off of McCoy and the Steelers know that, so it will be up to the Browns to make the run game successful.
On the defensive side, it's no more complicated then getting to Roethlisberger before he extends a play and makes something out of nothing.
As much as I'd like to predict a Browns victory, I just can't at this point with any kind of honesty, so I'll lie to myself.
Fantasy Browns team: Browns 28 Steelers 10
Reality: Browns 13 Steelers 35
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