Browns - Chargers Game Analysis

TheInsiders provide a look at today's upcoming battle between the winless San Diego Chargers and the Cleveland Browns. With the Chargers coming off a bye week, and the Browns hobbling on the offensive line, this game is a challenge to predict, but we'll try anyway...

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 10/19/03
TV:CBS, Ian Eagle, Solomon Wilcots
San Diego Chargers (0-5) at Cleveland Browns (3-2)

SERIES: 19th meeting, and the Chargers lead 10-7-1. They last played Oct. 17, 2001 when the Browns won 20-16 in Cleveland. That game was decided when Doug Flutie.

2003 RANKINGS: Chargers: offense 13th (13th rush, 12th pass); defense 31st (28th rush, 22nd pass). Browns: offense 28th (21st rush, 27th pass); defense 7th (21st rush, 4th pass)

FAST FACTS: The Chargers are hoping William Green aiming for his third consecutive 100-yard game, San Diego can't offer the secondary too much help.

Chargers: Coach Marty Schottenheimer was the Browns' coach from 1984-88 and served as their defensive coordinator/DB coach from 1980-84. ... Brees has completed at least 50 percent of his passes in four of his past five games. Browns: The team has allowed 13 or fewer points in four of six games. ... Green is averaging 130 yards rushing in his past two games.

PREDICTED SCORE: Chargers 24, Browns 23


  • RT Solomon Page (ankle) continues to work, but the Chargers have a plan ready if he aggravates his injury. If he was to go down in the game, rookie Phil Bogle would remain at right guard and Courtney Van Buren, another rookie, would go in at right tackle.
  • TE Josh Norman (hamstring) continues to work with the first team and will likely start on Sunday.
  • WR Reche Caldwell (wrist) remains out for another three weeks.
  • WR Tim Dwight isn't wearing a brace as he bounces back from his sprained knee. If Dwight can't return kickoffs, the job would go to Leon Johnson.
  • TE Stephen Alexander (groin) won't make the trip.
  • DE Adrian Dingle (knee) worked, but he doesn't look 100 percent.
  • LB Carlos Polk (knee) worked, and should be OK for special teams play.


  • QB Kelly Holcomb practiced Thursday and will be the second QB Sunday against the Chargers. He has a fractured right fibula.
  • C Jeff Faine has a sprained left MCL and will not play Sunday.
  • LG Shaun O'Hara has a sprained right ACL and will not play Sunday.
  • LT Barry Stokes is listed as probable and is expected to start against the Chargers.


Chargers: Well, the Chargers had another stellar practice on Thursday.

All together now -- big deal.

"We've got a ways to go to take it from the practice," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "The practices throughout this year have been good for the most part. We've had very few problems there."

Instead, the problems come on Sunday, where the Chargers have lost all five games and been outscored 149-89.

The Chargers will try to snap their nine-game skid -- dating to last year -- in Cleveland on Sunday. The Chargers are the lone NFL team minus a victory.

But if the league gave out wins for practices, the Chargers might be undefeated.

"What we got to do," Schottenheimer stressed, "is take it from here out to the game situation."

Browns: Left guard Shaun O'Hara had exploratory arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Tuesday and will miss up to three weeks.

Coach Butch Davis confirmed the surgery Thursday. The procedure explains why O'Hara has been absent in the locker room all week.

"He was in and out of the hospital in an hour and a half," Davis said. "It turned out to be negative, which is what the MRI said."

O'Hara has a sprained anterior cruciate ligament, but it is not torn, according to Davis. Precisely when O'Hara was injured is unclear. According to his agent, Tony Agnone, O'Hara has been playing with the injury for a couple weeks and "tweaked it" last Sunday against the Raiders.

O'Hara has played in 46 straight games, some at guard and some at center. A three-week layoff would have O'Hara returning Nov. 9 in Kansas City. The Browns are in New England next week and have their bye Nov. 2.

Meanwhile, Melvin Fowler has replaced him.

On Wednesday, Davis said the severity of O'Hara's and Faine's injuries are the same, which means going with backups the next two games.

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