10 things to watch in the Browns’ Week 4 match-up and the NFL

Welcome to Week 4 of the NFL! This weekly column includes a lot of loose ends
leading up to Sunday’s game.Pokorny’s 10 Things to Watch in Week 4 - Browns and
the NFL1. Respect Around the NFL: The Browns getting that first win last week
over the Jets was a big step forward. No longer does that lingering thought
exist in other teams’ minds that “we can’t be the team that loses to the
Browns.” Cleveland shot up in the power rankings. Pro Football Focus predicted
the Browns to win in nearly a clean sweep among their analysts:It feels
fantastic. We have suffered through plenty of miserable seasons Youth
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, but in particular, the first two years under
Hue Jackson’s watch tested our patience more than ever before. An awesome
comeback by Baker Mayfield was all I needed last week to believe in this team
again. Even if Mayfield ends up having some rookie woes, he can stay in games
with this defense the Browns have — can you believe the most points they’ve
allowed in a single game is 21 points?2. Color Rush Uniforms: Who else thought
the color rush uniforms the Browns debuted in Week 3 against the Jets were
awesome? It really makes me look forward to 2020, when the team revamps the
current uniforms yet again. As far as wearing the color rush uniforms again, you
won’t have to wait long for them again. According to Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 the
Fan, Cleveland will wear them two more times in 2018: in Week 5 against the
Baltimore Ravens at home, and then one more time later in the season.3.
Oakland’s Pass Rush is Non-Existent: Imagine if the Browns, a few years from
now, just said, “Sure, we will trade Myles Garrett away,” while having no one
even close on the roster to replace him. That’s what the Raiders did with Khalil
Mack, and their pass rush has suffered across the board.Oakland’s defense has 3
sacks, an NFL-low. Oakland only generates a sack on 3.26% of pass attempts, also
an NFL-low. To compare, the Browns generate a sack on 8.41% of pass attempts.Per
PFF data compiled by the Buffalo News http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-damarious-randall-jersey ,
Oakland has generated pressure on 19 of 98 dropbacks in 2018 (19.4%), a mark
that is the worst in the NFL. To compare, the Browns generate pressure 28.8% of
the time.DE Bruce Irvin was once a decent pass-rushing threat with the Seahawks.
He talked about the team’s current struggles in that department, but fans have
questioned the lack of effort he gives on gameday:4. Haley & Hue - Trick
Play Discrepancy: I’m not trying to make something out of nothing here — I just
find this amusing, that is all. In Hue Jackson’s post-game press conference
right after beating the Jets, he was asked about Cleveland’s successful
two-point conversion looking similar to the Eagles’ “Philly Special.” Here was
his response:And then here is what offensive coordinator Todd Haley said this
week, when asked if the play was borrowed from the Eagles:5. Lots of Chances:
Browns fans are stoked about the win over the Jets, but this team must continue
making progress. The grind doesn’t stop here. Just think about some of the
breaks that Cleveland had go their way against the Jets. Cleveland’s first
two-point try failed before the aforementioned “Cleveland Special.” The league
reportedly apologized to the Jets for the bad call.Cleveland also had the Jets
drop a would-be interception on Baker Mayfield’s first drive and recovered a
fumble by Mayfield; not turning it over either time resulted in 3 points. In the
fourth quarter, Duke Johnson’s fumble was somehow recovered by Rashard Higgins,
but that could’ve left the Browns’ comeback just short if the Jets had recovered
it.One big step toward becoming a winning team, though, is that you do prevail
despite these types of things. Whether things go your way or not, you still play
your game and finish in the best way possible.6. The Browns Have Avoided
Penalties: The talk of the NFL these first three weeks has been the awful
roughing the passer penalties that have been called. Through three weeks,
though, the Browns have actually been pretty good in that department, as
defensive coordinator Gregg Williams points out:Through three weeks http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jamie-collins-jersey ,
the Browns have had 20 penalties total called on them, which is below the league
average. They have been especially better the past two weeks, where they only
have 9 total penalties. 2 of those were on offense, 3 on defense, and 4 on
special teams.7. Draw Play Dave Adds Baker Mayfield: Shout out to Draw Play
Dave, who always does great NFL illustrations and just came out with one that
adds QB Baker Mayfield to the long list of Browns quarterbacks since 1999:8.
Kicker Concerns: One big factor to think about with Cleveland is that kicker
Greg Joseph is still very much an uncertain. Here is what special teams
coordinator Amos Jones said about him this week:9. NFL Week 4 Picks: I went 10-6
in Week 3, improving to 29-17-2 on the season. Here are my Week 4 picks.10.
Predicting the Browns’ Week 4 Inactives: I predict the following players will be
inactive for Sunday’s game against the Raiders:Projected Inactives: QB Tyrod
Taylor, WR Rod Streater, TE Seth DeValve, DE Devaroe Lawrence, LB James Burgess,
LB D’Juan Hines, and CB Tavierre Thomas.I think Taylor will be inactive because
of his back issues. Streater is still the newest receiver; he won’t be needed on
gameday when Damion Ratley and Derrick Willies can already play. I’d like to see
DeValve active over Orson Charles, but don’t know if he’s healthy enough yet.
Burgess is out, and Hines was just signed as insurance. PITTSBURGH (0-0) at
CLEVELAND (0-0)Sunday, 1 p.m. ET Kevin
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— Pittsburgh 7-10, Cleveland 4-12SERIES RECORD — Steelers lead 73-58LAST MEETING
— Steelers beat Browns 28-24, Dec. 31, 2017AP PRO32 RANKING — Steelers No. 5,
STATS AND NOTES — One-sided rivalry for two decades, Steelers are 33-6 against
Browns since 1999. ... Steelers without Pro Bowl RB Le'Veon Bell, who has been
in extended contract holdout with team that has turned nasty. ... Steelers QB
Ben Roethlisberger is 21-2 as starter against Browns. ... Roethlisberger
surpassed 50 Authentic
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,000 career yards passing last season, one of
only eight NFL QBs to reach plateau. ... Ohio native Roethlisberger is 24-4 in
games played in home state. ... Steelers went 7-1 on road last season. ...
Steelers All-Pro WR Antonio Brown led all receivers with 1,533 yards receiving
in 2017. Brown burned Browns in last season's opener — 11 catches, 182 yards —
and made critical 38-yard reception in fourth quarter to seal Pittsburgh's 21-18
win. ... Brown's 582 catches and 7,848 yards are most in five-year span in
league history. ... Steelers DT Cameron Heyward had team-best 12 sacks in 2017.
... Steelers will face former offensive coordinator Todd Haley, whose contract
was not renewed after six seasons. ... Browns coming off just second 0-16 season
for any NFL team. ... Cleveland's roster has been overhauled, with 31 new
players from last season. ... Browns have lost 13 straight openers and are 1-18
in Week 1 since returning as expansion team. Lone win came in 2004. ... QB Tyrod
Taylor will be 29th different starter for Cleveland since '99. Taylor expected
to start while Browns develop top overall pick Baker Mayfield, who had strong
training camp. ... Browns DE Myles Garrett missed last season's opener vs.
Steelers with ankle sprain. He's vowed to "chop down" Roethlisberger since being
drafted first overall in 2017. ... Browns starting RT Chris Hubbard was Steeler
from 2013-17. ... Browns WR Josh Gordon set to play in first season opener since
2013, when he led league with 1,646 yards receiving. Gordon, who says he's as
"locked in" as at any point in career, has been suspended for 54 of past 64
games. ... Gordon missed training camp to get counseling and won't start, but
expected to have major role. ... Browns coach Hue Jackson needs strong start
after going 1-31 past two seasons. Fantasy Tip: Until Gordon gets up and
running, Browns WR Jarvis Landry will likely be feature target for Taylor.
Landry led league with 112 catches last season and his 400 in first four years
are most by player to start career.
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