Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, 1pm EDT, CBS
Last Sunday, the Cleveland Browns became the final team in the NFL to record a victory. A lot has changed since then, with part of the front office being solidified and other positions in doubt.
Truck stop mogul Jimmy Haslam officially becomes the Browns’ majority owner this week, after buying the team from Randy Lerner for $1 billion. Haslam has started to clean house, with President Mike Holmgren stepping down in favor of former Philadelphia Eagles president Joe Banner. Two other Browns with experience with the Eagles, general manager Tom Heckert and head coach Pat Shurmur, are on the hot seat. Nick Saban’s name has been thrown around as a possible replacement for Shurmur, although these rumors have been largely discredited.
Amongst all the chaos in Cleveland, Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan could be forgiven, as he mistook backup quarterback Colt McCoy for rookie Brandon Weedon as he and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice visited the Browns training facility. In addition, Jason Pinkston has been diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung, leaving the second-year left guard’s career in doubt.
The Indianapolis Colts could be Cleveland’s best chance for a second win before their Week 10 bye, as they face the Chargers and Ravens after this week. Even after the bye, the Browns have to face Dallas and Pittsburgh, with games against Oakland and Kansas City being their best shots at victory for the rest of the season.
The Colts are at 2-4, but any win at this point would be icing on the cake after last season’s 2-14 record. Andrew Luck has nothing to lose (other than a few games) and will have room to grow during this season. This is a rebuilding year for Indy to say the least, and with head coach Chuck Pagano sidelined with leukemia, any win interim coach Bruce Arians gets will be a moral victory.
The few markets that will see Browns/Colts may be disappointed that they won’t see Baltimore face Houston for AFC supremacy. However, they will get to see two teams with rookie quarterbacks and with a lot to still play for. Indianapolis and Cleveland may be closer to the #1 pick than a playoff spot, but this should still be an interesting game to watch.