Arizona Cardinals vs. Cleveland Browns: Preview, prediction
Oct 26, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals strong safety Tony Jefferson (22) celebrates after making an interception as free safety Rashad Johnson (26) looks on during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Josh McCown is expected to start for the Browns. McCown’s status for this game was questioned after he suffered a shoulder injury against the Rams last week. This is great news for the Arizona Cardinals defense. With McCown getting battered by opposing defenses this whole season, expect defensive coordinator James Bettcher to bring the whole house on McCown and hope he makes a few bad throws here and there.
The secondary will need to keep tabs on Browns receiver Travis Benjamin and tight end Gary Barnidge, who arguably Cleveland’s best offensive weapons along with rookie running back Duke Johnson Jr. Justin Bethel will see a lot of balls coming his way as he is making his first NFL start this week, and he needs to be ready. The Cardinals defense has had trouble with tight ends in the past few seasons and need make sure they keep Barnidge in check as he known to pull of incredible and lucky plays.
The special teams unit as a whole was disappointing last week and was a major reason as to why the Ravens were able to stay in the game. Kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed an extra point, which would’ve made it a 3 possession game. Drew Butler had his kicked blocked and returned to the Arizona one yard line, and which the Ravens later turned into a touchdown along with a successful 2 point conversion attempt. The special teams needs to rebound against this struggling Browns team and be an asset to the Cardinals team and not a hindrance.
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After last week’s last minute scare, I expect the Arizona Cardinals to play a complete game in all 3 facets of the game. Facing a hobbled Josh McCown, the defense should be able to keep the pressure on him and force him into questionable throws. Chris Johnson should have his best day in Cardinal red against the league’s worst run defense, so expect him to be a big part of the game plan. With the receivers being as good as they’ve ever been, the Browns secondary should have a long day ahead of them. Cardinals 35 Browns 13