I agree with most everything you said. The game will be decided by turnovers and how many times we have to settle for FGs rather than TDs. Our redzone has to improve or we are toast.They've assembled an excellent coaching staff. When Sparano was here i pushed for Chud to replace him. He has an exceptional understanding of offenses and every player who has played for him has bought into the coach because of his intelligence and game planning. Tight ends especially flourish under Chud.
No one on here should have to explain former Dolphins coordinator Norv Turner. He might be a crap head coach but hes an brilliant teacher for quarterbacks and gets the best out of his players.
And, of course, Ray Horton has proven to be exceptional as well. People forget the Cardinals started out 4-0 last year. That was pretty much accomplished by Horton and his defense. The Cardinals originally wanted to keep Horton and insisted the coaches they interview agree to keep him on. He ended up leaving because he felt he didnt get a fair chance at the head coaching job. There were some burned bridges on his way out.
As for the players, on offense: Weeden had a great preseason. He did everything he didnt do last season: showed precision, touch, and decisiveness. He struggled in his 3rd game, but in his first two he completed 18/25 pass attempts and was 3-0 in touchdowns to interceptions.
Jordan Cameron has shown up in a big way. Holmgren drafted the former basketball player as a project, knowing it would take 2-3 years for him to develop. Well, its his 3rd season and he was a monster this preseason. He sustained a minor injury during the 3rd game(which im convinced caused Weeden to struggle), but should return for the regular season.
Trent Richardson is blowing it up as well. People forget he played with broken ribs last season, hence his struggles. A year of experience and a clean bill of health and hes good to go.
As well, they have a good offensive line, with Alex Mack and Joe Thomas being the anchors.
On defense: they have what every team needs, 2 pass rushers. Jabaal Sheard has been improving since they drafted him, he has had 15.5 sacks in his first two seasons. And while im not a fan, Paul Kruger was a beast the second half of last season. Throw in Mingo, who is a physical specimen, and they could be fierce.
Their defense line is a monster of a unit. Phil Taylor has been improving and is now back in a system that benefits him(3-4). Ahtyba Rubin has been one of the more underrated players in the league, and hes always played his best ball in a 3-4 system. And he light clicked on for Desmond Bryant last season.
Their backfield has problems but they have a solid safety in TJ Ward and have a damned fine corner in Joe Haden. People forget about Haden, hes been playing some good football for the Browns and it looks like hes going to be making bank shortly. Ray Horton has already announced he is going to use Haden like he used Patrick Peterson while in Arizona.
Compare the two teams and they have a lot of similarities.
Can anyone definitively say Tannehill is currently better then Weeden? I cant, both have shown flashes this preseason.
Can anyone definitively say they feel more confident with Wallace-Hartline-Gibson over Jordan Cameron-Greg Little-Devone Bess? I cant, its to similar.
Can anyone definitively say our defensive line is better then theirs? I cant, both units have strengths and weaknesses. Even if i feel Miami's is better(i actually do), both are going to be so productive its not going to really matter who is technically better.
Can anyone definitively say our defensive backfield is better then theirs? I cant, both units have giant question marks at free safety and the second corner spot.
Meanwhile, Cleveland has some clear advantages. Lets call a spade a spade and point out that Richardson is better then whatever we are doing at running back and the Browns offensive line is better then ours. Oh, and the game is taking place in Cleveland.
So yes, im not sleeping on the Browns. I predicted a hard fought game, low scoring game, with the Browns inching out a win after Miami kicks field goals instead of scoring touchdowns. Basically, Dolphins gonna Dolphins. Even if people disagree with that, i dont see how anyone can dismiss the Browns. Their record wont reflect it this season, but they arent the bottom feeders they used to be.