Hagen’s Week 7 Preview – Bucs vs. Browns


After a heartbreaking loss against the Falcons, Tampa Bay now faces the Cleveland Brown at Raymond James Stadium. Cleveland’s record is 2-3-1 at the moment and the Browns no longer are the laughing stock of the NFL. In fact, they have a very good pass defense, especially when it comes to takeaways. The Browns defense already has 9 interceptions, which gives them an average of 1.5 interceptions per game. Pretty impressive compared to Tampa Bay’s 0.2.

Offensively, the Browns are average. Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield will make his seventh career start and try to get going in Tampa. So far, he has completed 55 percent of his passes, has thrown for 4 touchdowns but has been picked off 5 times, as well. Look for Mayfield to have a break-through game against Tampa’s horrendous pass defense.

Cleveland has been able to run the ball well, averaging 137 yards on the ground per game (the Bucs average 80 yards). However, on Friday, the Browns traded away there leading rusher Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Rookie Nick Chubb, in combination with former University of Miami running back Duke Johnson, are expected to build a running back committee.

With newly promoted defensive coordinator Mike Duffner making the defenisve calls, we do not know what the Bucs defense will look like yet. Keep your expectations low, Bucs fans. As Gerald McCoy will most not suit up on Sunday, which takes away very important key player on a defense which is already plagued by injuries. Additionally, Vinny Curry has been ruled out for Sunday.

For Tampa Bay’s offense, it will be crucial to limit turnovers. If they do not turn the ball over they will win this game. This will be a tough task, however, against Cleveland’s dangerous pass defense with Winston under center, who likes to make risky decisions.

After all is said and done, the Bucs will get it together and finally get a much-needed victory in a nail-biter after losing three games in a row.

Final score: 21-20 Bucs!