St. Louis Rams at Cleveland Browns Free Pick, Odds, Prediction 8/23/14
Cleveland Browns (0-2) Vs. St. Louis Rams (0-2)
NFL Football: Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 8:00 pm (FirstEnergy Stadium)
The Line: Cleveland Browns -2.5 -- Over/Under: 42.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: NFL HD
The St. Louis Rams offense will be tested on Saturday when the Rams head to Cleveland to face the Browns and one of the better defensive units in the league.
The Cleveland Browns have named their starter for the season opener, so we can expect to see plenty of Brian Hoyer here on Saturday. Hoyer may be the starter for now, but I think there is little doubt around the league that the Browns are going to Manziel sometime this season. Cleveland fell in their last outing, getting beat by the Redskins in a made for preseason Monday night game featuring Manziel and RG3. Neither Hoyer, nor Manziel looked solid against the Redskins, and judging by Manziel’s reaction to the Washington sideline, the young quarterback was getting a bit frazzled out there. Connor Shaw actually had the best numbers off all the quarterbacks on the Browns, but to be fair his stats are a bit inflated thanks to a Hail Mary score as time ticked away. Ben Tate has established himself as the number one back in the Browns offense, and while the quarterback position may be in flux this season, Tate looks to have a stronghold on the number one back spot.
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The St. Louis Rams dropped their last outing to the Packers on Saturday, falling to Green Bay 21-7. The Rams are figured to be a solid team this season, but the offense still has plenty of question marks, and if the Rams have trouble putting points on the board, I think it will be tough for St. Louis to compete in the tough NFC West. The Rams found their back last season in Zac Stacy, but 2014 is being called a make it or break it year for Sam Bradford. The Rams can’t rely on their defense for everything and if Bradford and this offense can’t find themselves a rhythm and put points on the board consistently, I just don’t see St. Louis hanging around with the likes of the Hawks and the Niners. Look for the starters to play the first half here, but if the Packers are having success getting to Bradford, Fisher may have a short leash on his quarterback, given his inured past.
I’m going with the under in this one. Cleveland’s quarterbacks haven’t done anything to impress me thus far, and I’m curious as to how long Bradford will be in the game for the Rams, I’m guessing the first half at most. Both the Browns and the Rams have solid defenses, so we should see a low scoring game here that stays under the total.