Who knew that all it took for the Cleveland Browns to be favorites this Sunday – despite not winning a game in what will be almost a month’s time – was a team traveling across the country with their reserve quarterback at the helm if their “starter” continues to suffer from a strained pectoral?
Such is the case when Pete Carrol’s Seattle Seahawks pay visit to Cleveland on Sunday, coming into town as a 2.5-point underdog despite facing the 26th-ranked offense of the Browns. The Orange and Brown have found themselves on the favorable side of the pregame ledger several times this season, including a double-digit point spread against the Cincinnati Bengals during Opening Day. Subsequently facing the bottom tier of the NFL (Miami, Indianapolis) also had Vegas taking a few points away from Pat Shurmur’s crew. With Tavaris Jackson dinged up and Charlie Whitehurst potentially being under center, the city of bright lights feels that the Seahawks are more Miami than they are Oakland.
However, the last time the Seahawks traveled across America, they upset the heavily-favored New York Giants in East Rutherford. The quarterback at the end of said game? Charlie Whitehurst. The Browns are losers of two straight and will head on a road trip that will provide the likes of the red-hot San Francisco 49ers and the sexy playoff pick Houston Texans.
A 2.5-point favorite from the home team essentially states that these two squads are evenly matched. It was just a month ago when many among the media were crowning the ‘Hawks as the worst team in the NFL. If A equals B and B equals C, this game is shaping up to be very, very ugly – but one that the Browns most certainly need to win over Mike Holgmren’s former employer if this team is to have any morale before heading on the road to close out October.