Posted in Game Previews

Game Preview: Browns vs Bucs Week 1

by Staff Report on September 11, 2010

Cleveland leads the all-time series, 5-2, with the Buccaneers taking the last two meetings after the Browns won the first five. Tampa Bay won its first meeting over the Browns by a score of 17-3 at Raymond James Stadium in 2002. Tampa Bay would make it two-in-a-row over the Browns, as the Bucs won 22-7 at Cleveland in 2006. The Buccaneers and Browns first met in 1976, Tampa Bay’s inaugural campaign, with the Browns posting a 24-7 victory in Tampa. Cleveland also notched a 34-27 win in 1980 in Tampa, a 20-0 win in 1983 in Cleveland, a 42-31 win in Tampa in 1989, and a 22-6 win in 1995 in Cleveland.

GAME INFORMATION
Date: Sunday, September 12, 2010
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET
Site: Raymond James Stadium (65,890)
2009 Records: Tampa Bay 3-13, Cleveland 5-11
Network Television: CBS
Play-by-Play: Spero Dedes, Analyst: Rich Gannon
Bucs Radio: US 103.5, flagship station (103.5 FM, 620 AM)
Play-by-Play: Gene Deckerhoff, Color: Dave Moore, Sideline: T.J. Rives
Last Game: Tampa Bay won at Houston 24-17; Cleveland won vs. Chicago 13-10

HEAD-TO-HEAD
Cleveland leads series 5-2 (Regular Season)

SERIES BY THE NUMBERS
Home Record vs. Cleveland Browns:……………………………………….1-3
Road Record vs. Cleveland Browns:………………………………………..1-2
Current Streak:………………………… Buccaneers, two games (2002, 2006)
Buccaneers Longest Streak:……………………….Two games (2002, 2006)
Cleveland’s Longest Streak:……………………………Five games (1976-95)
Regular Season Point Total:………………… Buccaneers 110 – Browns 152
Most Points, Buccaneers:………………………….. 31, Browns 42-31 (1989)
Most Points, Browns:……………………………….. 42, Browns 42-31 (1989)
Most Points, both teams:………………………….. 73, Browns 42-31 (1989)
Fewest Points, Buccaneers:…………………………..0, Browns 20-0 (1983)
Fewest Points, Browns:………………………….. 3, Buccaneers 17-3 (2002)
Fewest Points, both teams:……… 20, twice, last Buccaneers 17-3 (2002)

Year Score Site
1976 L, 24-7 Tampa
1980 L, 34-27 Tampa
1983 L, 20-0 Cleveland
1989 L, 42-31 Tampa
1995 L, 22-6 Cleveland
2002 W, 17-3 Tampa
2006 W, 22-7 Cleveland

SERIES HIGHLIGHTS
The Browns scored 17 second-half points to break a 7-7 halftime tie in a 24-7 victory at Tampa Stadium (11/21/76)… Cleveland QB Brian Sipe rallied from a sluggish start to become the first quarterback ever to throw for more than 300 yards against the Buccaneers defense in a 34-27 win at Cleveland (9/28/80)… Sipe’s 318-yard, three TD performance enabled the Browns to overcome a 13-3 deficit and overshadow a 343-yard, three TD effort by Bucs QB Doug Williams… Mike Pruitt scored on touchdown runs from one-yard out in both the first and second half as Cleveland blanked the Bucs, 20-0 in Cleveland (11/13/83)… Tampa Bay also lost star RB James Wilder for the season when he broke a pair of ribs, after being tackled by Cleveland’s Eddie Johnson… The Browns returned two Vinny Testaverde interceptions for touchdowns in the first half of a 42-31 victory at Tampa Stadium… Testaverde did pass for more than300 yards for the third consecutive week and James Wilder rushed and received for 130 total yards for the second straight game (11/5/89)… The Buccaneers defense only allowed Cleveland 194 total yards and 11 first downs en-route to a 17-3 victory… FB Mike Alstott averaged 7.4 yards per carry on 17 carries, accumulating 126 yards of rushing and scoring each of Tampa Bay’s two touchdowns (10/13/02)… A stout Buccaneer defense intercepted Browns QB Derek Anderson four times, including LB Derrick Brooks’ 21-yard INT returned for a touchdown, as Tampa Bay defeated the Browns by a score of 22-7 in Cleveland…RB Michael Pittman ran for 86 yards and a score, as the Browns offense could only muster 215 yards of total offense (12/24/06).

What to Watch
Josh Freeman
Freeman in his brief appearance during the pre-season completed 75% of his passes for an average of 9.3 yards an attempt before breaking the tip of his thumb, on his throwing hand. Whether or not, that was enough work against live action will be tested against the Browns. Freeman will no doubt look rusty as he’s just now started to practice on a “full go” basis with the rest of his teammates. But no one knows for sure how his injured thumb will hold up or how much it will affect his accuracy after missing nearly three weeks. Will he be able to duplicate his early success during his limited pre-season reps or will the thumb be a hindrance all season long is the question that many are wondering?

Bucs Three Headed DT Rotation of Gerald McCoy, Roy Miller & Brian Price
The triplets will face one of the better interior combination’s in the NFL on opening day, as the Browns have a very capable interior anchored by second year center Alex Mack who’s flanked by two veterans with loads of experience in left guard Eric Steinbach and right guard Floyd “Porkchop” Womack. It will be a barometer of sorts for the future faces of the defense to test their merits against an accomplished group of blockers. The trio of Mack, Steinbach and Womack average 320-pounds and have started a combined 180 games compared an average weight of 299-pounds for the triplets and 1 start.

E.J Biggers
Biggers who locked down the nickle cornerback spot with an impressive pre-season. Will be pushed into the starting lineup, as starter Aqib Talib serves his one game suspension for the cabby incident from last year. Biggers will be tested by the arrival of Mark Clayton who the Browns acquired from the Ravens this week. Biggers is sure to be targeted by the Browns and Jake Delhomme as he represents the weakest link in the secondary. The good news is that the Browns other receivers don’t exactly strike fear in opposing defenses and Clayton will be limited due to the fact he isn’t fully acclimated in the Browns offense.

INJURY REPORT
CLEVELAND BROWNS
Out
LB D’Qwell Jackson (chest)
S Nick Sorensen (head)
Doubtful
G Shawn Lauvao (ankle)
Questionable
LB Marcus Benard (shoulder)
DT Shaun Rogers (ankle)
G Floyd Womack (knee)
Probable
TE Robert Royal (ankle)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Probable
QB Josh Freeman (right thumb)
DT Brian Price (hamstring)
WR Maurice Stovall (ankle)

ENEMY COACHES
Browns Head Coach: Eric Mangini
Browns Offensive Coordinator: Brian Daboll
Browns Defensive Coordinator: Rob Ryan
Browns Special Teams Coach: Brad Seely

STATISTICAL RANKINGS: (2009)
CLEVELAND BROWNS OFFENSE
Overall: 32nd (260.2 ypg)
Rushing: 8th (130.4 ypg)
Passing: 32nd (129.8 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: 22nd (30)
Points Scored: 29th (15.3 ppg)

CLEVELAND BROWNS DEFENSE
Overall: 31st (389.3 ypg)
Rushing: 28th (144.6 ypg)
Passing: 29th (244.7 ypg)
Sacks: 8th (40)
Points Allowed: 21st (23.4 ppg)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS OFFENSE
Overall: 28th (287.5 ypg)
Rushing: 23rd (101.7 ypg)
Passing: 24th (185.8 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: 19th (33)
Points Scored: 30th (15.2 ppg)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS DEFENSE
Overall: 27th (365.6 ypg)
Rushing: 32nd (158.2 ypg)
Passing: 10th (207.4 ypg)
Sacks: 26th (28)
Points Allowed: 27th (25 ppg)

Buc Central’s Prognostication:
As always we are not advocating gambling based on our views of the game, especially considering we typically are inclined to make such educated guesses using are heart rather the any rational thought applied to picking. We are merely giving an opinion of who we think has the best chance at securing a victory.

BROWNS 19
BUCS 17

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