The Buccaneers make their first trip to Cleveland since 2014 when they take on the Cleveland Browns on Sunday Afternoon.
The 5-5 Buccaneers bring a two-game winning streak to Cleveland and have shown improvement in the last two games.
Specifically, the run defense has shown signs that it is starting to put it together. The Bucs have allowed 39 and 68 yards on the ground the last two weeks after allowing 100-plus yards in five of their first ten games.
The Browns have the number five running attack in the league, averaging 150 yards a game led by Nick Chubb’s 923 yards and 11 touchdowns. So it will be a challenge for the Buccaneers to slow down the Browns rushing attack.
The Browns Have Struggled This Season
Although the Browns’ record sits at 3-7, they are better than their record indicates. The Browns beat Cincinnati 32-12 on Monday Night and then lost to Miami 39-17. You never know which Browns team will show up.
The Browns are known this season for losing games in the last few minutes. For example, they lost to the NY Jets 31-30 in week two of the season.
They last to the Falcons 23-20, the Chargers 30-28, and the Ravens 23-20. These are all games in which the Browns had the lead but couldn’t hold on in the final minutes.
The Browns have two of the best players in the league in running back Nick Chubb and defensive end Myles Garrett. Chubb is fifth in the league in rushing with 963 yards, and second in touchdowns scored with eleven.
Garret is in the top ten in sacks with 8.5 and is one of the leagues best edge rushers.
Jacoby Brissett has been the starting quarterback for the Browns all season and has not played poorly. Brissett has completed 64 percent of his passes for 2398 yards and has 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.
This will be the first home game for the Browns since the Monday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Although the Browns have struggled this season Tom Brady says the Bucs are playing a good football team and need to play well to win
Buccaneers Ready To Go On A Run
The Buccaneers are hoping that this second half of the season will mirror the second half of the 2020 season when their offense kicked it into gear following the bye week, and the Bucs went on that Super Bowl run.
The Bucs could be without one of their best defensive players in nose tackle Vita Vea. Vea suffers from a foot injury, and it would be a huge blow to the Buccaneer defense if he cannot play. Vea did practice on Friday and It will be a game time decision whether he plays or not.
Vea leads the Bucs with 6.5 sacks and has been an enormous presence on the defensive line since Akeim Hicks returned from his injury.
The Bucs could also be getting back running back Gio Bernard back from IR. Bernard has been practicing this week and could be activated for the game on Sunday.
Julio Jones has been healthy the last two games, and the offense has looked its best since week one against Dallas.
Running back Leonard Fournette is nursing a hip injury and has been ruled out for this game along with wide receiver Russell Gage.
Keys To A Buccaneer Win
Continue to run the ball well.
The Bucs’ running game had a coming-out party against Seattle, running for 161 yards. The Buccaneers need to duplicate that effort against a porous Browns run defense. The Browns are ranked 23rd against the run giving up 135 yards a game. This is another chance for White with Fournette out of the lineup to solidify his role as the starting running back.
Keep the Browns’ running attack in check
If the Bucs let Nick Chubb run wild, the Bucs have a good chance of losing this game. The Bucs have to slow down the Browns’ running game. It has been proven over and over this season when the Buccaneers stop the run; they have a good chance of winning the game.
Overcome the weather.
This could be the worst weather in which the Buccaneers have played a game this season. There is a 100 percent chance of rain, indicating this game could be a game that will feature the running game for both teams.
Myles Garrett vs. Tristan Wirfs.
This will be the best one on one matchup of this game. Garrett has 8.5 sacks this season, and Wirfs has not allowed a sack this season. So my money is on Wirfs to continue his no-sack streak allowed.
At the end of the day, the Browns will get their third win of the season, 27-17, over the Browns and improve to 6-5.