I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving. I spent most of the Thanksgiving, and much of the last few days, entertaining relatives from out-of-town. I didn't even get a chance to watch much football on Thanksgiving (and considering all the games were pretty much blowouts, it looks like I didn't miss much).I don't think that will be the case with this Sunday' games as several teams are fighting to stay in the playoff picture, including the Colts and Browns.
The Browns are without Brady Quinn for the season, and are now back to starting Derek Anderson. Anderson was a Pro Bowler last year (and rightly so), but this year his production has fallen off due in part to his receivers dropping easy balls. Cleveland's LBers and secondary also haven't helped their offense, allowing teams to score a lot of points and put the offense in catch-up mode in several games.
Despite the Browns' record, this will not be an easy game. Bob Sanders will once again sit for the Colts, and Jeff Saturday is probably out until the playoffs (if the Colts get there). This likely means Cleveland will look to ram Jamal Lewis and Jerome Harrison down the defense's throat. They must suck it up and stop Cleveland's rushing attack, forcing Anderson to throw more (which will turn Indy's pass rush against him).
Though it was a holiday week, the Cleveland fans did some nice crossing-blogging. There is still some rather silly hatred between Browns fans and the Colts due to the last game of the regular season last year (when Dungy sat most of his starters, barely lost to the Titans, and as a result knocked Cleveland from the playoffs). I'm sure a few fans are thinking "revenge." Why? I don't know. I guess it is easier to blame others instead of holding your own team accountable for its failures. Last year, if Cleveland fans expected the Colts to risk injury to Peyton Manning or Bob Sanders in a meaningless game just so their team can squeak into the playoffs, then they are deluded and there is no hope in reaching them with reason and logic. The reality is both teams need this game to stay in the playoff picture. That is really all it boils down to. "Revenge" is just silly talk for fans projecting their anger outward rather then pointing the finger at the coach and GM. For a Browns fan's take on the game, check out Dawgs By Nature and writer ChrisPokorny. Chris has been blogging for SB Nation as long as I have, and is as rabid about the Browns as I am about the Colts.
Here is to a good, clean game between two storied franchises. Go Colts!