Floridian Felines’ Formidable Fury: Browns-Jaguars Preview

Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell (34) rushes for a 6-yard touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez)

For arguably the first time since Week 1, the Cleveland Browns (0-9) showed up ready to play in Detroit. At one point they even led by ten points. No fooling! Nevertheless, as inevitable as gravity’s pull, the Browns squandered that lead and left the Motor City with their ninth loss of the season. They return home to lick their wounds as another team named after ferocious felines shows up on a mission. With the resurgent Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3) rolling in, let’s see what to expect on Sunday.

Are the Browns Favored?

Negative. Jacksonville enters as a 7.5-point favorite. The smart folks in Vegas seem to pay little heed to whether or not the Browns are home when setting the line. The Browns are 3-17 in their last twenty true home games so it’s hard to blame them.


The Jaguars lead the all-time series 11-5. Despite playing in the same division for four seasons the Browns and Jags have not played a ton of games against each other. Jacksonville has won two straight; Cleveland hasn’t won in the series since Week 11, 2011. Colt McCoy threw a touchdown pass that day if you’re looking for some sad perspective.

The Jaguars

These aren’t your big brother’s Jaguars. In a first-place tie with the Titans heading into Tennessee’s Thursday night loss to Pittsburgh, the jungle cats are looking for their first winning season and playoff appearance since 2007. The club has lost to the Titans, Jets, and Rams while defeating the Texans, Ravens, Steelers, Colts, Bengals, and Chargers. The River City Kitties have a chance to secure an AFC North sweep with a win in Cleveland on Sunday.

The immortal Blake Bortles is still standing under center for the Jags. The former UCF Knight has thrown 167-of-285 passing for 1,930 yards, eleven touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Running back Leonard Fournette has taken 147 carries for 629 yards and six touchdowns. The leading receivers are Marqise Lee (38 catches, 493 yards, two scores) and Allen Hurns (36 catches, 446 yards, two scores). The Jags’ claim to fame in 2017 is their defense. The team ranks first in points allowed (14.9 ppg) and third in yards allowed (285.8 ypg). Defensive end Calais Campbell has recorded an eye-popping eleven sacks and 24 tackles plus two forced fumbles in only nine games. Expect to see him near DeShone Kizer all afternoon.

The Browns’ Stats

Let’s talk numbers real quick. Surely by now you’ve determined that the Browns are not very good at football. The question then becomes, how bad are they? Where do they rank among their professional football peers? You’re not going to like it.

  • Points scored – 31st (15.9ppg)
  • Points allowed – 30th (26.7 ppg)
  • Turnovers lost – 32nd (23 turnovers lost)
  • Turnovers gained – 24th (10 takeaways)
  • Net yards gained per passing attempt – 31st (5.0 yards)
  • Percentage of drives ending in a score – 32nd (22.2 percent)
  • Percentage of drives ending in a turnover – 1st (20.4 percent)
  • Average points scored per drive – 32nd (1.26 points)

Needless to say there’s room for improvement.

Normally a game against Jacksonville would be a welcome break and a prime opportunity for a win. While that may not be as true in 2017, the Jags are dysfunctional enough to offer a chance for the Browns’ first win. There’s no guarantees of course, but maybe the Browns’ first home game in a month will light a fire under them.

  • Chris

    Flying feces from furious fans forces forfeit.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi CHRIS … this is a good one ! you are going to have a tough time topping this.

  • tigersbrowns2

    as long as Blake Bortles is playing QB , the Browns will have a chance to win … especially on a cold windy day. stuff Fournette & beat the Jags !

    GO BROWNS !!!!

  • tsm

    PS 31st, PA 30th. These are the only 2 stats I care about. The rest are just ways of explaining these 2. For all the talk of how we have an improved D, and we have solid players there, the numbers don’t bear this out. Time for them to get a few takeaways, and make the difference.

  • Chris
  • tigersbrowns2

    LMAO !! … i remember this.

  • Skulb

    What am I looking at? Give me some help please.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi TSM …

    2016 – total defense – 31st
    rush defense – 31st
    pass defense – 21st

    2017 – total defense – 10th
    rush defense – 3rd
    pass defense – 16th

    PA is a little overblown as the offense has had too many turnovers putting the opposition in great field position. i would say this is a much improved defense.

  • Skulb

    You would think if you have not watched the Jaguars play defense. I have, and will be extremely surprised if they don’t easily outscore the Browns’ offense in this game. Possibly the entire Browns team. There is elite defense and then there is what the Jaguars have done so far this season. Bortles is even unable to make them lose. And he’s in the perfect spot to sabotage them, and occasionally seems to be trying to do just that.

  • Chris

    You know how a play can only be challenged before a subsequent play has been run? These refs didn’t get the memo.

  • mgbode

    21st in defensive efficiency. as tb2 noted, it’s tough blaming the defense when the offense does them no favors. still way, way more to go though & our red zone defense has been bad.

  • Skulb

    Ah yes, right. The Seahwks had one of those against the Redskins this season when the refs were trying to save the win for Seattle late in the fourth. It failed so that’s probably why nothing was made of it after. But the refs essentially reviewed a play two plays back and then gave the Hawks a Hail Mary shot they shouldn’t have had because they were out of time. Funny how cheating still goes on even with a billion cameras on the field and the quality of broadcasts as good as it is.

  • tigersbrowns2

    they are going to stuff Fournette & make Bortles beat them on a cold day … and Bortles is without WR’s Allen Robinson & Allen Hurns & M.Lee is hurting … but yes , they still have TE Mercedes Lewis & yes the opposing TE’s have been getting the best of us.

  • Skulb

    But those are all offensive players. The Jags don’t need an offense to win most games. That’s the point. Just wait until you see their defense if you haven’t already and you’ll understand what I mean. Ask the Steelers.

  • tigersbrowns2

    you mean the same Jags team that got clobbered at home by the Titans & the Jags that lost to the Jets ?

    yes , they are #1 in total defense & #1 in pass defense … this means it will be a great test for Kizer & our O-line.

    actually , I’m a big fantasy footballer … i know every player on every team … you are right , the Jags are definitely tough on defense.

  • Skulb

    Great clip btw. I had seen the running refs at the end before but never the whole thing. Very funny if you’re not a Browns fan.

  • Skulb

    Well give or take a game or two obviously. Hard to sustain something like this for a defense, because scoring opportunities are so erratic. But at times just getting a pass completed has been a struggle for their opponents. I think calling this a test for Kizer is putting it mildly. In fact I would say that if he has any sick notes left at all, this might be the time to use it. OOH! AHH! Splinter in my leg! From Korea! I have to sit this one out coach!

  • tigersbrowns2

    LOL … KIzer’s a lot of things , but afraid isn’t one of them … i just think this game will be closer than some folks think.

  • Skulb

    Alright then. I guess we’ll find out.

  • RGB


  • tsm

    I understand both Bode and your points. However, when the offense gives the other team a short field, then our D must show up and stop them. I watched the great Steeler D of the 70’s overcome numerous mistakes by Bradshaw and Gilliam and stop the other team. In fact, those Steeler D’s gave Bradshaw many ridiculously short fields to traverse. I still remember the Super Bowl against Minnesota 16-6 when the D won that one all by itself and the O was simply along for the ride. This is the dirty little secret that helped Bradshaw become a HOF QB and continue to claim his 4 rings makes him an all time great.

  • tigersbrowns2

    good post & fair point … but we have been ranked dead last in rushing defense almost every year for a while now … it is refreshing to see the defense playing with a spine & some attitude … still room for improvement.

  • paulbip

    Jaguars do not live in the jungle.

  • mgbode
  • Robert Sass

    I have always had respect for you are one of my favorite posters, but the team WILL be 0-16 this year, and the worst two season stretch in NFL history at 1-31… Hugh Jackson is coach, only one true First Round Draft pick this year (peppers and Njoku will be busts), sigh… I am so frustrated with this team, they can’t even accidentally draft more than Garrett correctly, and he has not exactly proven not to be a bust yet… Maybe next season the 2018 Browns can win one game??? This is truly historic lowness for not just an NFL franchise, but all franchises in professional sports…

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