Arizona Cardinals vs Cleveland Browns Predictions, Odds, Picks
- The Cardinals’ biggest weakness is a 13th ranked defense that struggles against the run
- The 3-2 Browns should also be undefeated, but they fail to close the deal when it counts
- Browns have been bitten early by the injury bug with eight players listed as questionable
Cardinals vs Browns Odds
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|Cardinals vs Browns||Point Spread||Money line||Total|
|Cardinals||+3 (-105) |
|O 49 (-110) |
|Browns||-3 (-115) |
|U 49 (-110) |
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The 5-0 Arizona Cardinals have a scrambling quarterback Kyler Murray who is also having success hooking up with receivers DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, and Christian Kirk, bit their biggest weakness right now is their 13th ranked defense that tends to struggle against the run (ranked 28th), not good news against this run-heavy Browns team.
The 3-2 Cleveland Browns could easily be undefeated as well but have failed to close the deal when it counts, so now it’s up to their two-headed rushing attack starring Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to run at the Cardinals’ struggling run defense while QB Baker Mayfield and his brilliant head coach Kevin Stefanski figure out how to not get sacked on fourth down.
These two cross-conference rivals have matched up 51 other times, with the Cleveland Browns winning 33 of those games and the Arizona Cardinals winning 15 of the games, plus three ties.
Arizona Cardinals vs Cleveland Browns Predictions
Can Arizona’s Run Defense Stop the Browns’ Two-Headed CHUNT?
It will be up to the Cardinals 28th ranked run defense to put a stop to Cleveland’s powerful rushing attack that features CHUNT: Nick Chubb, a hard-hitting, tough to tackle running back, and Kareem Hunt, a dual-threat back who can line up as a receiver and who can flip and dive around tacklers at will.
The Cardinals now have rookie linebacker Zaven Collins as well as linebacker Isaiah Simmons plus veterans Markus Golden and Robert Alford in the middle of their defense, all solid tacklers that will have their work cut out for them on Sunday.
Arizona has a 28th ranked run defense that allows opponents to gain almost 140 yards per outing, so it will be fun to watch them take on the league’s best rushing attack, a duo that together gain almost 188 hard-earned yards on the ground per game.
Can the Browns Defensive Line Contain QB Murray?
With speedy legs and an agile frame, Cardinals’ quarterback Kyler Murray is tough to contain, but then throw in his ability to rifle the ball from any arm angle he chooses, and you have a powerful opponent who can win the game almost by himself.
Normally the Browns have just the answer – DEs Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney plus tackles Malik Jackson and Malik McDowell – a veteran defensive front that has been sacking and panicking opposing quarterbacks all season.
But right now injuries have Clowney (knee) listed as questionable and when he did not suit up in Week 5 it was noticeable, but it is a next man up league, and the Browns must answer the call and figure out a way to keep Murray trapped in a constantly collapsing pocket.
Cardinals Key Player: (WR) A.J. Green
After spending his first nine NFL seasons on a middling Bengals squad, star wide receiver A.J. Green, a perennial 1000+ yarder, is now a huge part of the Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray offense.
So far this season, Green has become a go-to target for Murray, helping the team to their undefeated 5-0 start with 16 catches for 261 yards and 2 touchdowns, numbers that are bound to exponentially increase as the two begin fine-tuning their connection.
Green’s best game with the Cardinals has been in Week 3 when he caught five passes for 112 yards, though no touchdowns that day, so watch for this veteran speedster to test the Browns banged-up secondary to see if he can’t shake open for a few big ones.
Browns Key Player: (QB) Baker Mayfield
For the rest of this season, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield will be dealing with a partially torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, a chronically painful injury that requires him to wear a harness during his games.
This has caused Mayfield’s accuracy to diminish, his completion percentage in Week 4 a dismal 45.45, but last week he showed improvement as he gets used to playing with his injury and he completed almost 72 percent of his passes against the tough Chargers.
This Cleveland Browns team has a top-5 offense and a top-4 defense, so Baker gets all the help he needs on both sides of the ball, but he could use a big game connecting with ace receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and as many of his talented tight ends as coach Stefanski can game plan.
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How to Watch Cardinals vs Browns
|Cardinals vs Browns Information|
|What||Arizona Cardinals vs Cleveland Browns|
|Where||FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH|
|When||Sunday, October 17, 2021; 4:05 PM ET|
|How to watch||FOX|
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]