INDIANAPOLIS (92.3 The Fan) – Sunday’s meeting between the Browns and Colts is a must win for both teams to prevent their seasons from appearing like they are about to spiral out of control.
The Browns are favored in the game, a first since 2015 and a road favorite for the first time since 2012. Their last road win came Oct. 11, 2015 in a 33-30 overtime thriller at Baltimore.
Streaks, Stats & Notes –
– Browns LT Joe Thomas begins the game with 10,062 consecutive snaps played on the Browns’ offensive line, believed to be longest streak in league history.
– Browns rookie QB DeShone Kizer returns to Indiana after playing college football at Notre Dame. Head coach Hue Jackson wants to push the ball down the field with Kizer and through 2 weeks the Browns are tied for No. 3 in the NFL with 11 passing plays of 20 yards or longer.
– WR Corey Coleman, the Browns’ 2016 first-round draft pick will miss the next 8 weeks after going on injured reserve with broken right hand and having surgery this week.
– DL Myles Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, continues to deal with an ankle injury and doesn’t appear ready to make his regular season debut despite being listed officially as ‘doubtful’ for the game..
– Since 1999, Indianapolis has been 0-3 once (2011) while the Browns look to avoid an 0-3 start for the eighth time (1999, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2016)
– Familiar faces: Browns vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry and executive Ryan Grigson both worked for the Colts; Indianapolis offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski was the Browns head coach in 2013 before being fired after just 1 season; Colts coach Chuck Pagano was an assistant on the Browns staff from 2001-04 and is looking for win No. 50.
– Colts RB Frank Gore needs 8 carries to pass Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (2,996) for ninth all-time and 11 carries to reach No. 3,000.
– Colts WR T.Y. Hilton needs 73 yards to pass Lenny Moore (6,039) for fourth on the franchise’s career list.
– Colts’ defense allows 2.52 yards per carry, second best in NFL while the Browns have averaged 3.3 yards per carry.
– Colts TE Jack Doyle was QB Jacoby Brissett’s favorite target last week catching 8 passes for 79 yards. The Browns’ defense has focused on preventing deep balls which has left plenty of space for opposing tight ends to wreak havoc. Last week Ravens tight end Ben Watson caught 8 passes for 91 yards.
Rankings – CBS Sports: Browns No. 28, Colts No. 30; AP PRO32: Browns No. 28, Colts No. 31
Browns Offense — Overall (18), Rush (25), Pass (14)
Browns Defense — Overall (18), Rush (13), Pass (19)
Colts Offense — Overall (29), Rush (24), Pass (25)
Colts Defense — Overall (28), Rush (7), Pass (29)
Last Week – Browns lost to the Ravens 24-10; Colts lost to the Cardinals 16-13 in OT
The Last Time – Dec. 7, 2014: Colts beat the Browns 25-24.
Series History – Tied 14-14; Cleveland has lost 7 of 8 since 1999.
Projected Starters – OFFENSE: WR Rashard Higgins, LT Joe Thomas, LG Joel Bitonio, C JC Tretter, RG Kevin Zeitler, RT Shon Coleman, TE Randall Telfer, WR Kenny Britt, QB DeShone Kizer, RB Isaiah Crowell, FB Danny Vitale.
DEFENSE: DE Nate Orchard, DT Trevon Coley, DT Danny Shelton, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, WILL Christian Kirksey, MIKE Joe Schobert, SAM James Burgess, CB Jason McCourty, CB Jamar Taylor, S Jabrill Peppers, S Derrick Kindred.
Injury Report – OUT: LB Jamie Collins (concussion); DOUBTFUL: DE Myles Garrett (ankle), WR Sammie Coates (hamstring); QUESTIONABLE: DL T.Y. McGill (back); EXPECTED TO PLAY: WR Kenny Britt (knee), TE Randall Telfer (knee), RG Kevin Zeitler (thumb)
Broadcast Information – Radio: 92.3 The Fan, 98.5 WNCX, 850 AM and the University Hospitals Cleveland Browns radio network; TV: WOIO Cleveland 19 (CBS)
Kickoff – 1:03 p.m. – Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)