That’s right, the Browns are one-point favorites in Indianapolis this weekend. The two winless teams face off with an over/under of 40 points. After a brutal opening loss against the Rams, the Colts actually held their own last week in an overtime loss to the Cardinals.
Browns running back Isaiah Crowell has stated he wants the ball more. That would likely help Cleveland’s woeful passing game that is now without wide receiver Corey Coleman (broken hand).
Jacoby Brissett vastly improved Indy’s offense last week after the shambolic Week 1 display by Scott Tolzien. The odds seem to be against the Browns beating Colts.
In the opening loss to the Chiefs, the Patriots were out of sync against a much better defense. They were trying to figure out the right pecking order in a remixed running game and rediscover a passing identity.
Some of that happened. Mike Gillislee emerged as the power back of choice, and Amendola was the natural fill-in for Edelman. But Brady was still getting the feel for new deep threat Brandin Cooks and how to better use Hogan in an expanded role.
With extra time to prepare for picking apart the Saints, Brady wasted no time in using Burkhead’s and Gronkowski’s versatility. He didn’t force it to Cooks downfield in Cooks’ revenge game, and he picked his spot to deploy Hogan.
In the backfield, there was no more mystery. Gillislee was the main early-down rusher, and James White was the clear third-down receiver. By being so multiple and unpredictable with the rest of the backs, wideouts and tight ends, it’s OK for the Patriots to have some predictability.