Quick Look: Colts and Browns in Week Three
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INDIANAPOLIS – Having won just one game since December 2015, the Browns are actually an early favorite over the Indianapolis Colts this weekend.
Cleveland has lost 20 of their last 21 regular season games, has a rookie quarterback and is playing on the road in Week Three, yet they are still favored over the Colts.
The Browns come into Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium with two losses in the AFC North this year.
Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer has had plenty of rookie moments early on.
Kizer is completing just 57.4 percent of his passes, has thrown four interceptions and has been sacked nine times in starting the first two games.
The skill positions in Cleveland hardly have any proven talent.
In fact, the top five healthy pass catchers for the Browns this year probably do not ring much of a bell to the average NFL fan: Rashard Higgins, Seth DeValve, Duke Johnson, David Njoku and Ricardo Louis.
Starting running back Isaiah Crowell has averaged just 2.6 yards per carry through two games.
Defensively, the Browns have mustered only three sacks in the first two games, with opposing quarterbacks completing 70 percent of their passes against Cleveland.
It’s looking like the Browns could be without two of their bigger named defenders in Week Three.
Pro Bowl linebacker Jamie Collins is in the concussion protocol this week.
2017 first-round pick Myles Garrett has yet to play in the NFL due to an ankle injury, which has his status in Week Three once again up in the air.
With the Browns a slim favorite early in the week, it marks the first time Cleveland hasn’t been a road underdog since the 2014 season.
2017 Record: 0-2, tied for 3rd place in the AFC North.
Head Coach: Hue Jackson, head coach (3rd season as an NFL head coach, including interim stint, 9-25 overall in regular season, 0-0 overall in postseason).
2017 NFL Rankings: Offense – Overall, 18th (311.5); Rushing, 25th (75.0); Passing, 14th (236.5). Defense – Overall, 18th (313.5); Rushing, 13th (85.5); Passing, 19th (228.0).
2017 Leading Quarterback: DeShone Kizer (35-of-61 comp., 404 yards, 57.4 pct., 1 TD, 4 INTs, 55.6 rating).
2017 Leading Running Back: Isaiah Crowell (27 carries, 70 yards, 0 TDs).
2017 Leading Receiver: Rashard Higgins (7 receptions, 95 yards, 0 TDs).
2017 Leading Sacker: Three guys tied for team lead (1.0).
2017 Turnover Breakdown: Minus 3 (tied for 27th in the NFL).
2017 NFL Draft Results: With the first overall pick, the Browns selected Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett. An ankle injury has kept Garrett off the field for the first two games of 2017. The Browns had another first-round pick and ended up moving back into the mid-20s to take Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers. The activity didn’t stop there for Cleveland. They traded back into Round One to draft Miami tight end David Njoku. Their starting quarterback came in Round Two with the selection of Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer.
2016 Review: Christmas came to the Browns in the form of their first win of the 2016 season. A 20-17 Christmas Eve victory over the Chargers gave the Browns their lone win of 2016. Before beating the Chargers, the Browns had lost their pervious six games all by at least two scores. Hue Jackson’s first season at the helm of the Browns saw zero steps forward in finding the quarterback of the future. It marked the 14th straight year the Browns had missed the playoffs.
Last time in Playoffs: 2002 season. Lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 36-33, in the AFC Wild Card.
Last time in Super Bowl: Never.
Super Bowl Championships: None.
2016 Pro Bowl Selections: OT-Joe Thomas.