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The way things look after four weeks of football, the Colts will not outscore the Browns because Cleveland has finally figured out how to utilize all that talent they have on the roster, and now they have the offensive line to get it done.
Browns +2 -110
|Colts vs Browns Information
|Indianapolis Colts vs Cleveland Browns
|FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH
|Sun, October 11, 2020; 4:25 PM ET
|How to watch
The Indianapolis Colts are a 3-1 team that didn’t look offensively dangerous against the Bears last week, not breaking 20 points and winning despite allowing Chicago to score 8 points in the fourth quarter to make it close, something that the Browns will take full advantage of for sure.
Cleveland has the same talented playmakers on its roster that it had last season, more or less, but the difference now is they have a powerful and highly rated front line plus a head coach, Kevin Stefanski, who knows how to win with a powerful run game and play-action pass attack plus who understands how to best utilize QB Baker Mayfield.
These two AFC teams have met each other 34 other times (including 4 postseason games), with the Cleveland Browns winning 17 of those matchups and the Indianapolis Colts winning the other 17 of the games.
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The Colts are averaging just under 26 points per game this season, which is ranked right in the middle of the league right now, but the Browns are on an offensive tear averaging 31 points per game which ranks fourth-best behind the Packers, Seahawks, and Cowboys.
Philip Rivers can get the ball into the endzone against this Browns defense that is still figuring itself out in the secondary, but he will need a lot of quick help from his receivers because Cleveland’s pass rush in including DE Myles Garrett is exceptional these days.
Look for the Colts to also depend on rookie RB Jonathan Taylor who has made a splash in his first four weeks with two touchdowns so far averaging 3.8 yards per carry.
One of the league’s best running backs, Nick Chubb, had his knee injured when one of the giant Cowboys rolled on it during a play and he will be out for the next six weeks or so while it heals.
Thankfully, they also have Kareem Hunt (see below) who is a dual-threat out of the backfield and a former rushing yards leader just a few seasons ago.
Also helping the Cleveland rushing attack is D’Ernest Johnson and Dontrell Hilliard, who could both be starters on a different team, a squad coached by Stump Mitchell who is proving that his running back room is as deep as it is tough and elusive.
Colts WR Zach Pascal is in his third NFL season, all with Indy, and he is a key part of QB Rivers passing offense since he is the second receiver in the lineup for a quarterback who likes to hurl the ball as part of his attack.
With TY Hilton being a deep threat who commands all the double teams, Pascal must take advantage of all those single coverage situations and begin to get open more often as an easy target for Rivers.
Pascal had 3 receptions in Week 4 for 58 yards, averaging 19.3 yards per catch, but for him to make the next step up he will have to take a few of those balls into the end zone, something he might have a chance to do on Sunday against the Browns banged up secondary.
Browns starting running back (and last year’s rushing champ runner up) Nick Chubb suffered a knee injury in Week 4 and will be out for at least the next month and a half, which puts pressure on the next man up in the running backs room, dual-threat Kareem Hunt.
Hunt was on suspension for half of last season, and the Browns struggled behind a weak offensive line for most of that year, so it will now that Hunt will be able to show that he can take over the RB reigns in Cleveland and help his QB Baker Mayfield from out of the backfield.
Last week Hunt was listed as questionable with a groin pull, but he is cleared in Week 5 so expect him to take the main running role for Cleveland and help Baker Mayfield fully sell his new type of play-action offense.
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]More info on Mike Lukas
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