Week 7 Preview: Cleveland Browns
By: Bernie Marshall 
Posted: 2008-10-17
Category: Washington Redskins News
The Washington Redskins will play their first inter-conference game of the 2008 season against a team that has never visited Fed Ex Field, when they host the Cleveland Browns this Sunday. Kickoff is at 4:15 pm. The Cleveland Browns faced the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants as huge underdogs in week six. In winning for the first time on Monday Night Football since 1993, the Browns upset the undefeated Giants 35-14, with a stellar performance from wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who recorded five catches for a career-high 154 yards and a touchdown. Any chance of a comeback by New York was ended when defensive back Eric Wright grabbed one of Eli Manning’s three interceptions on the night and returned it 94-yards for a touchdown. The Redskins provided the Saint Louis Rams with their first victory of the 2008 season. The offense had set an NFL record by not committing any turnovers in the first five games of the season but three first-half fumbles went a long way in helping the Rams pull out a surprising 17-16 win.

The Redskins and Browns have only met seven times since 1970, and this will be the 44th regular-season meeting between the teams, with Cleveland holding the series lead at 33-9-1. The Browns won the last meeting 17-13 in Cleveland. Washington held the lead at the half 10-3, but the Browns tied the game in the third quarter on a 15-yard pass from Jeff Garcia to Aaron Shea. The Redskins briefly regained the lead on a 26-yard John Hall field goal before running back Lee Suggs’ 3 yard run gave the Browns the lead for good. The Redskins’ final drive ended when wide receiver Laveranues Coles, who finished the day with seven catches for 122 yards, fumbled after a catch and the offense never got back on the field.


News, Notes, and Quotes:

-- With running back Ladell Betts expected to be nursing a strained lateral collateral ligament and strained hamstring, the next two to four weeks and safety Reed Doughty battling a nerve problem in his back for the past two weeks, the Redskins made some roster moves. They were also looking for a replacement for rookie punter Durant Brooks, who is ranked last in the league in both average yards per kick (39.6) and net average (32.1).

To take Doughty's spot, the Redskins signed safety Mike Green. he was Mr. Irrelevant when he came out of Northwestern State (Louisiana), yet he played six seasons with the Chicago Bears after they took him with the last pick in the 2000 NFL draft. Greg Blache was the Bears defensive coordinator for four of those season. Green played in 15 games for the Seahawks last year.

Also signed was punter Ryan Plackemeier, who was cut by the Seahawks after a poor performance in Seattle's season-opening loss to the Buffalo Bills. In 33 career games, he has averaged 42.3 yards per kick and a 37.3-yard net average.

The signing that made the national news was signing of the 2005 NFL's MVP to a one year contract. Running back Shaun Alexander led the league with 1,880 yards rushing and a record 27 rushing touchdowns in 2005 but has only played in 23 games since then and has averaged 3.5 yards per carry over the last two years. To create room on the roster the Redskins cut safety Justin Hamilton, placed Doughty on injured reserve, and listed punter Durant Brooks in the waived/injured category because he has a sore right hip flexor. If Durant Brooks clears waivers, he’ll be placed on the injured reserve list.

-- Rookie wide receiver Malcolm Kelly has been slowed by knee and ankle injuries this season and sat out his fourth game on last weekend after having fluid drained from his knee last week. Coach Jim Zorn said on Monday that if Kelly is not healthy, then placing him on injured reserve remains a possibility.

-- Safety Reed Doughy, whose season ended when he was placed on the injured-reserve list Tuesday, said he will see at least one more specialist before deciding whether he will undergo surgery to repair a nerve problem in his back. He figures recovery from surgery could take several months and he'd like to begin rehab as soon as possible

-- Running back Clinton Portis continues to lead the NFL in carries with 136; his 129-yard performance against the Rams moved him to the top of the rankings with a total of 643 rushing yards, while his six rushing touchdowns are second in the league. Portis has two of the top 11 single-game rushing totals in the NFL this year and has accounted for 35 first downs on the ground, which also leads the NFL; fourteen of them came in the fourth quarter of games, which is also a NFL best.

-- “It is hard for me to know that I let down the other 52 guys in the locker room, the coaches, the owner and the fans, ‘I tried to be a player who thinks my way around the field pretty well, so for somebody who thinks about football a lot to make a boneheaded play like that is inexcusable.” — Starting Guard Pete Kendall on grabbing a tipped pass only to fumble it and have it returned for a touchdown

-- "This is an exciting time for me, I just like the atmosphere. They're winners already. To be a part of that is a good thing. It being coach Zorn and Stump being here, I already knew they worked well together. Clinton and I played together in the Pro Bowl. Chris Samuels and Cornelius (Griffin), we graduated from Alabama together. It just fits and I'm really excited.." — Running back Shaun Alexander on signing a one year contract to fill in for the injured Ladell Betts

-- “When I get the chance to watch Winslow on film, I like the way he plays, He plays hard and he runs good routes.’ I would say I’ve had a more consistent career than Kellen. I haven’t been hurt like he has been. Had he stayed healthy and had a couple years like he did the last two year, then he would have had the better career so far. 'I credit myself a little bit for being a guy who is always there. I always practice, I always play and I never miss anything. Over a long period of time, that says a lot.” — Tight End Chris Cooley on the inevitable comparisons of him and Cleveland tight end Kellen Winslow (note: The Redskins had tagged Winslow the top TE in the 2004 NFL draft but opted for safety Sean Taylor with the fifth overall pick then traded up into the third round to draft Cooley. Winslow and Cooley both were voted to their first Pro Bowl last year)

Comparing the Team Leaders:

The Cleveland Browns are lead by QB Derek Anderson who has a QB rating of 64.1 with 853 passing yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions; Jason Campbell leads the Redskins’ offense with a QB rating of 96.2 with 1262 passing yards and has thrown six touchdowns and no picks.

Jamal Lewis powers the Browns ground attack with 323 yards on 90 carries and averaging 3.6 yards per carry and has two touchdowns while Clinton Portis leads the NFL with 643 yards on 136 carries and averaging 4.7 yards per carry and has six touchdowns.

Braylon Edwards is the Browns top pass catcher with 249 yards and two touchdowns on sixteen catches while averaging 15.6 yards per catch. The Redskins top wide receiver is Santana Moss averaging 15.3 yards per catch with 29 receptions for 443 yards and three touchdowns after being held to two catches over the past two weeks. Tight end Chris Cooley has passed him as the teams leading pass catcher with 30 receptions for 345 yards and one touchdown.

D'Qwell Jackson leads the Browns defense with 46 tackles, Alex Hall leads the team with three sacks, and Eric Wright has three interceptions for the team. London Fletcher leads the Redskins in tackles with 48 while Chris Wilson, Kedric Golston, Anthony Montgomery, H.B. Blades, Shawn Springs, Jason Taylor, and Cornelius Griffin have one sack each and Chris Horton leads the team with three interceptions.

Complete Tale of the Tapes:

Total Points Offense: Washington is ranked 19th averaging 21 points per game. The Cleveland Browns ranks 26th averaging 16.2 points per game

Total Offense: Washington is ranked 7th with 354.0 yards per game. The Cleveland Browns ranks 28th with 259.4 ypg.

Rushing Offense: Washington is ranked 3rd with 152.3 yards per game. The Cleveland Browns ranks 24th with 98.4 ypg.

Passing Offense: Washington is ranked 17th with 201.7 yards per game. The Cleveland Browns ranks 26th with 161.0 ypg.

Total Points Defense: Washington is ranked 10th giving up on average 19.5 points per game. The Cleveland Browns ranks 8th giving up on average 18.4 points per game

Total Defense: Washington is ranked 8th, giving up 285.8 yards per game. The Cleveland Browns ranks 17th with 325.0 ypg.

Rushing Defense: Washington is ranked 7th, giving up 83.8 yards per game. The Cleveland Browns ranks 25th with 137.0 ypg.

Passing Defense: Washington is ranked 13th, giving up 202.0 yards per game. The Cleveland Browns ranks 11th with 188.0 ypg.


Injury Report:

Ladell Betts (knee/hamstring) is Out
Betts suffered a strained lateral collateral knee ligament and strained hamstring, with some swelling in his calf in Week 6, and will be out several weeks

Fred Smoot (Groin) is Doubtful
Smoot’s participation was limited in practice this week

Shawn Springs (Calf) is listed as Questionable
Springs "tweaked" his calf during practice Thursday, and will be re-evaluated over the weekend

Carlos Rogers (calf) is Questionable
Rogers’ participation was limited in practice this week

Malcolm Kelly (Knee) is Questionable
Kelly continues to experience knee issues and had the knee drained twice last week. His participation was limited in practice this week

Stephon Heyer (shoulder) is Questionable
Heyer’s participation was limited in practice this week

James Thrash (knee) is Probable
Thrash suffered a mild knee sprain in Week 6, but is expected to play Sunday

Clinton Portis (hip flexor) is Probable
Portis did not practice Thursday, but is expected to play Sunday

Chris Horton (ankle) is Probable
Horton did not practice Thursday, but is expected to play Sunday

Jason Taylor (knee) is Probable
Taylor did not practice Thursday, but is expected to play Sunday

Injured Reserves:

The following players are done for the 2008 season:

DE Alex Buzbee (Achilles Injury)
DE Phillip Daniels (Knee Injury)
S Reed Doughty (Back)
LB Matt Sinclair (Back)
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