Originally written on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 11/2/12
  No matter how many good young assets the Browns put together, if they are going to be a competitive in the coming years, they are going to have to be able to get past divisional opponents. That means playing the Bengals, Steelers and Ravens six times every year.  After starting the 0-5, including giving the Giants a scare in week five, Cleveland has won two of their past three games and narrowly missed beating the Colts a few weeks ago that would have put their current streak at three. Brandon Weeden is still fresh in the league, but he has begun to develop a solid chemistry with his offensive line and receivers that has surprised some around the league.  The Browns took a risk in the supplemental draft when they spent a second round pick on Josh Gordon, a receiver with immense potential but sporadic success at the college level. So far, the investment has paid off. Gordon is a big play wideout who will not win you any PPR leagues, but he will get down the field and abuse secondaries. He averages 22.3 yards per catch, tops in the league amongst wideouts with at least 15 catches. He has also found the end zone four times for the Browns.  But enough about their aerial attack. If the Browns are really going to have any success, it will begin and end on the ground. Trent Richardson is their franchise back, and they have the pieces in place on the wall in front of him that could make him elite before the season is done. Joe Thomas has been holding down the blind side since he entered the league, and second rounder Mitchell Schwartz is holding down the right side.  With these two beats on the end, Richardson is could have a decade of success in his future. Richardson has been dealing with some soreness due to a rib injury suffered a few weeks ago, but he went to work on the Chargers front seven last week so there is no reason to believe that he shouldn't gouge the banged Ravens defence.  Speaking of that Ravens defence, it might be a lot worse than anyone could have expected. We have come to expect so much from them in the past decade, but they are falling apart at the seams and being held together by a mixture of young players and those still on the mend. Haloti Ngata will play sparingly due to continued injury issues and Ed Reed is not playing like the ballhawk of old.  Greg Little is going to work the underneath routes while Gordon goes for the homeruns over the top. If Weeden can get some time in the pocket, we might see an outright upset on our hands. The Browns pass rush is also getting a nice boost with Phil Taylor coming back in from the PUP list. The second year player is a space eater on the inside of the defensive line, and could cause headaches if he can get into the backfield consistently.  Since Joe Haden drew back into the lineup for the Browns, their pass defence has improved significantly. After getting gouged by the Bengals in his first game back, the Browns have allowed 173 and 148 yards through the air and less than 56% completion percentage in their past two games. He has the skills to shut down his side of the field, and the rest of the secondary has stepped up to blanket the rest of the Colts and Chargers in the past few weeks.  The Ravens have allowed more than 400 yards in back-to-back games since Ray Lewis and Webb went down for the season. Their run defence has been especially bad as they are getting hit for 142.9 yards per game on the ground, good for 30th in the league. If Richardson can get the running game established early, the Ravens will be forced to load the box and leave Gordon on solo coverage on the outside.  The Browns are at home where Jimmy Haslam has watched them win their first two home games under his ownership, and despite the Ravens coming off of a bye week, the Browns may have the pieces in place to win three of four. Take the Browns and the points, they will keep it close.    Pick of the week record: 4-4. The Rams traveled to London last week and got handled by the Pats. They got out to an early lead, but Brady came back and put up four scores on them before half. It was over and ugly in a hurry. On to the next one. 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bills suspend assistant coach for first six games of 2015

Trent Richardson has 50-50 chance at making Raiders roster

Rex Ryan takes subtle jabs at Jets' upper management

Everett Golson responds to Paul Finebaum's criticism

Mark Sanchez says it ‘crazy’ to call Chip Kelly racist

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Malcolm Butler daring Brady to throw his way in practice

Geno Smith confident worst is behind him and the Jets

Ronda Rousey knocks out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds

Von Miller earns dismissal from NFL’s drug program

Ian Kennedy watches birth of daughter on FaceTime before start

Matt Williams wants Bryce Harper to stop getting ejected

WATCH: Dez Bryant throws punches at training camp

There's no need for Notre Dame to join a conference

WATCH: Benches clear during Royals-Blue Jays game

Jim Harbaugh gives Nicki Minaj a shoutout on Twitter

The Kardashian sisters still call Caitlyn Jenner 'Bruce'

Tennessee fan recreates Neyland Stadium in backyard

Lolo Jones: I could last at least a minute against Rousey

Bears have very strict rules for media during training camp

Jamaal Charles: I feel like I'm the LeBron James of football

Ronda Rousey: I'll fight Cyborg if she stops taking steroids

Danny Garcia beats Paulie Malignaggi, remains undefeated

Bobby Wagner, Seahawks agree to contract extension

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker