Cleveland fans are excited about their improved Browns team and their exciting rookie quarterback, as well as their core of defensive stars. But they were smacked in the face with reality in Week 6, compliments of the Chargers and their 38-14 whupping.
Are the Browns still that bad? The defense gave up 45 points in Week 4 and now 38 in Week 6? The offense put up 26 total points in the last two weeks.
Well, probably not. The Chargers are a very good offense. They are arguably the second or third-best team in the AFC with their only losses coming against the Rams and Chiefs.
NFL Week 7 Game Preview
Cleveland will be competitive more weeks than not with an above-average defense and some exciting playmakers on offense.
Tampa Bay might be competitive every week, but only if their offense can keep it up. Defensively, they continue to be among the most generous units in the NFL. It took a couple of weeks of “Fitz-Magic” to pull out their wins.
Since then, teams have managed to score at will and slow down the Tampa offense just enough to hand the Buccaneers three straight losses.
Jameis Winston looked okay in his first start of the season and running back Peyton Barber looked closer to the preseason version of himself for the first time. They’ll need to be on top of their games if the Buccaneers are to overcome their defensive lapses.
Injuries and moves
Cleveland placed wide receivers Rod Streater and Derrick Willies on injured reserve this week. They also list Rashard Higgins and Damion Ratley as questionable, although both are expected to be active Sunday.
Linebackers Joe Schobert (hamstring) and Tanner Vallejo are questionable. James Burgess Jr was waived/injured.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield is also listed with an ankle injury, but he is expected to play.
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and cornerback Carlton Davis are listed as questionable for the Buccaneers.
Things aren’t getting any easier for Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter. He resisted calls to fire his defensive coordinator during the bye week, but finally let Mike Smith go after the Falcons put up 34 points Sunday.
Any residual goodwill from the Buccaneers’ surprising 2-0 start has completely faded as Koetter’s seat gets hotter.
Hue Jackson appears untouchable in Cleveland. After a 1-31 start to his tenure, the team hired an offensive coordinator but left Jackson in charge. Having doubled his victory total already and enjoying a close relationship with his owner, Jackson is living large for the moment.
How to watch the Buccaneers-Browns game
Fox will broadcast this game to the Tampa Bay and Cleveland markets during the early time slot. If you are a fan who is fed up with the high price of cable and satellite television, maybe you should watch the game on DirecTV Now.
DirecTV Now will send the live stream NFL game directly from Fox Sports to your favorite internet device. You can watch this game for free with a free trial offer.
Better yet, you can watch live stream NFL action every week with a low-cost monthly subscription and no contract with DirecTV Now, Sling, or Fubo TV.
Check out their websites to see all they offer in your area and how much you’ll save by cutting the cord to your satellite or cable provider.
Who will win the Buccaneers-Browns game?
Cleveland’s defense can’t wait to get back on the field after giving up so many points to the Chargers. But slowing down a mobile Jameis Winston with the amount of receiving targets he has will require an extraordinary effort.
Baker Mayfield will have a hard time keeping up, but he’ll give it a heck of a try.
Final score: Buccaneers 27, Browns 24