LynchWeek 15
Buffalo Bills vs Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns Stadium
Cleveland, Ohio
1:00 PM

Well, it doesn’t get much bigger than this one, when the 8-5 Cleveland Browns invite the 7-6 Buffalo Bills into Cleveland Browns Stadium this Sunday. Rather than battling for a higher draft pick, this December matchup between 2 of the NFL’s most pleasant surprises will put the winner in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot. If the Bills win, they will be tied with the Browns at 8-6, but will have the edge with the head-to-head win, thus giving them control of their own destiny. If the Browns win, however, the Bills will be knocked out of playoff contention while the Browns will almost certainly be on their way to playing playoff football, needing only a Tennessee loss or one win over either Cincinnati or San Francisco to clinch it. This one is huge, and I couldn’t be happier that this game is in Cleveland.

Injury Reports

Buffalo Bills:

-Copeland Bryan, DE – Out (knee)
-George Wilson, S – Out (ribs)
-Coy Wire, LB – Out (neck)
-Chris Kelsay, DE – Questionable (ankle)

Cleveland Browns:

-Antwan Peek, LB – Doubtful (ankle)
-Joe Jurevicuis, WR – Questionable (knee)
-Orpheus Roye, DE – Probable (knee)
-Kevin Shaffer, OT – Probable (knee)
-Robaire Smith, DE – Probable (back)
-Willie McGinnest, LB – Probable (hip)

Game Outlook

The Buffalo Bills are a tough team to figure out. They don’t bring a very powerful offense (ranked 28th in the NFL) into town, and their defense is only slightly better than the Browns’ defense, as they are ranked 30th in the NFL (compared to the Browns’ 32nd ranked defense).  The Bills started the year 1-4, but have gone 6-2 since. They are team that seems to be hitting their stride as they are careful with the ball and continue to find ways to win games. I believe the Browns are the better team all around, and I believe this is a game the Browns should, and I repeat should, win. A fun matchup to watch will be in the special teams game. The Browns’ Courtney Cribbs leads the NFL in kick return yards per return, while the Bills’ Roscoe Parrish leads the NFL in punt return yards per return. If the incliment weather slows down the Browns offense, it will greatly benefit the Bills’ ball control offense in this game. On the other hand, the Browns’ only home loss this season came in week 1 against the Steelers with Charlie Frye starting that game. The crowd could be a major factor in this one as Browns fans desperate for a playoff appearance should be extremely loud and disruptive in this one (again, assuming weather doesn’t take them out of the game). I’m predicting a 24-17 win for the Browns.