Monday Night Football: Cleveland Browns at Washington Redskins NFL Pick, Odds, Prediction 8/18/14
Cleveland Browns (4-12) at Washington Redskins (3-13)
NFL Football: Monday, August 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm (FedExField)
The Line: Washington Redskins -1 -- Over/Under: 41 See the Latest Odds
The Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins meet on ESPN Monday Night Football in Week 2 of the NFL Preseason.
The Cleveland Browns are hoping that backup QB Johnny Manziel can continue his development at the QB position after a strong outing in week one against the Lions. Johnny Football completed 7/11 passes for 63 yards and ran for 27 yards on 6 carries as well. Starting QB Brian Hoyer plays a typical pocket-passing style but was less efficient in week one going just 6/14; the quality Hoyer has that Manziel doesn’t though is the ability to locate receivers further downfield.
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The Browns are probably still content to rely more heavily on their running game though as Ben Tate was signed in the offseason after averaging 4.7 yards per carry in three seasons with the Texans. With the pending suspension to WR Josh Gordon, the old-school Browns style of ground and pound could become even more of a priority. Of course that style of play also relies on playing solid defense, something the Browns have been generally able to hang their hat on even through some tough losing seasons.
The Browns ranked 8th in the league last season in passing yards allowed conceding just 221.1 per game as Joe Haden leads the team after signing a five-year contract worth $68 million. The Browns were in the middle of the pack last season against the run ranking 18th in the league while allowing 111.3 yards per game.
The Washington Redskins kept QB Robert Griffin III on a short leash in their week one matchup against the Patriots. RG3 played just one series as head coach Jay Gruden called a safe, vanilla drive of short dump offs and running plays out of the shotgun formation. Backup QB’s Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy each shined though, as Cousins went 9/13 for 103 yards and a TD and McCoy went 8/9 for 102 yards and a TD.
The Redskins succeeded in their ground attack in week one accumulating 177 yards on 44 carries as familiar names like Alfred Morris, Evan Royster, Roy Helu and Silas Redd all saw work in what appears to be a deep backfield. Of course the offensive focus could easily shift if prized WR signing De Sean Jackson makes his way onto the field of play for Monday Night Football.
The Redskins are a bottom-half defensive club from a season ago but in week one they got the job done against the Patriots allowing just six total points. It’s hard to read too much into that result though as Tom Brady failed to see action and Bill Belichick is notorious for keeping his cards guarded when not forced to show them.
The Redskins look like the easy play at home here with three strong QB’s and a deep ground attack. Take the small line early before it rises before kickoff.