Mayfield, high-powered Browns take on stingy Colts
Indianapolis (3-1) at Cleveland (3-1): The Browns might be for real. The Colts, too. We could find out on Sunday, when Indianapolis visits Cleveland. Both teams are winners of three in a row, and carrying questions about who they have beaten.
The Browns were pummeled by Baltimore before defeating Cincinnati, Washington and Dallas, combined record 3-8-1. Indy lost badly at Jacksonville, then defeated Minnesota, the Jets and Chicago, combined record 4-8 headed into Week 5.
This matchup could prove something, with Cleveland’s dynamic offense facing the league’s most stingy defense.
“This will be our defense’s biggest challenge. You’ve got the No. 1 offense as far as running the ball,” Colts coach Frank Reich said. “The other thing that they are No. 1 at is explosive plays in the run game. We’ve got the No. 1 defense so this is what it’s all about. We’ll see how it stacks up.”
Indeed, said Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who won’t have leading rusher Nick Chubb (knee).
“They are a really sound defense. They play together. They are coached well. They hustle. You can see the effort. They swarm to the ball.”
Philadelphia (1-2-1) at Pittsburgh (3-0): The Pennsylvania showdown matches two first-place teams. Yep, the Eagles are atop the wretched NFC East. Fans are allowed at Heinz Field for the first time this season; capacity will be capped at 5,500.
Las Vegas (2-2) at Kansas City (4-0): The Raiders have lost their past seven games at Kansas City. The Chiefs have won a franchise-record 13 consecutive games, and 28 of their past 30 against the AFC West. Cincinnati (1-2-1) at Baltimore (3-1): Joe Burrow has three straight 300-yard passing games, a rookie record. But the
Ravens are 26-11 against the AFC North at home under John Harbaugh. Two productive kickers will be featured: The Ravens’ Justin Tucker is 8 for 8 on field goals, and Cincy’s Randy Bullock is tied for the scoring lead with 45.
Miami (1-3) at San Francisco (2-2): The Niners are getting healthier. Miami is playing decently, outscored only 96-93. Los Angeles Rams (3-1) at Washington (1-3): Ron Rivera benched Washington’s supposed future star quarterback, Dwayne Haskins, for Kyle Allen. The Rams attack is humming behind Jared Goff. Minnesota (1-3) at Seattle (4-0): Despite a holefilled defense, the Seahawks are off to a terrific start. Russell Wilson tied Peyton Manning’s record with 16 TD passes in the first four games of a season. Minnesota has dropped six in a row vs. Seattle.
New York Giants (0-4) at Dallas (1-3): The Cowboys have won six straight in the series, their longest streak since winning 12 in a row from 1974-80. New York has trouble scoring and Dallas can’t stop anyone. Arizona (2-2) at New York Jets (0-4): Things looked bright for the Cardinals; then they fell to Detroit and Carolina, not exactly playoff contenders. The Jets are a contender for the No. 1 draft choice. Jacksonville (1-3) at Houston (0-4): Bill O’Brien is out in Houston, with Romeo Crennel becoming the league’s oldest head coach at 73. Jacksonville has dropped four straight to the Texans.
Carolina (2-2) at Atlanta (0-4): A defeat could send Atlanta’s Dan Quinn packing. Carolina has shown spunk under rookie coach Matt Rhule.