Browns-Jaguars: Game Scout

The Browns take on the Jaguars at 1:00PM today at cold and windy Cleveland Browns Stadium. Here's some more info on the contest, including the Jags record in cold-weather games. Join us at 10AM in the chat room and listen in as Barry is on the the radio at SportsTalkNetwork.com. Join us again at 1PM for our live game chat!

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET

GAMEDATE: 12/04/05

SURFACE: Grass

TV: CBS, Bill Macatee, Rich Gannon

SERIES: 10th meeting. The Jaguars lead 7-2, and they are a perfect 4-0 against the Browns in Cleveland.

2005 RANKINGS: Jaguars: offense 18th (11th rush, 22nd pass); defense 3rd (14th rush, 2nd pass). Browns: offense 21st (19th rush, 18th pass); defense 20th (28th rush, 13th pass)

PREDICTION: Jaguars 23-13

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Jaguars' newfound vertical passing game is likely to take a step back thanks to the injury to QB Byron Leftwich and predicted high winds at game-time. QB David Garrard is more mobile than Leftwich, and the Jaguars will need him to make some plays with his feat, especially if RB Fred Taylor is out or limited again by a sprained ankle. A quick start in temperatures expected to be in the 30s is essentially for Jacksonville, which is playing its third consecutive road game. Defensively, the Jaguars have had to prepare for Browns QBs Trent Dilfer and rookie Charlie Frye because of Dilfer's knee problems. The Browns expect to see plenty of blitzes from the Jaguars, especially if Frye is behind center. Either quarterback needs help from RB Reuben Droughns as a runner and receiver to help thwart Jacksonville's strong pass rush.

FAST FACTS: Jaguars: Are 3-5 in games played in temperatures 34 degrees and below. ... Have scored at least 20 points in a franchise-record seven consecutive games. Browns: Droughns needs 59 rushing yards to become the franchise's first 1,000-yard rusher since Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner both accomplished the feat in 1985. ... Are 4-1 when scoring at least 20 points.


Jaguars Personnel News

  • S Deon Grant, who missed practice Wednesday with a shoulder injury, returned to practice Thursday and is expected to play. He's listed as probable.
     
  • RB Fred Taylor practiced against Thursday, but coach Jack Del Rio said he'll probably make a decision Friday on whether or not Taylor plays Sunday at Cleveland. Del Rio doesn't want to wait until game day and get caught up in the emotion of the moment.
     
  • WR Reggie Hayward suffered a toe injury in practice Thursday and was added to the injury report as probable. He's expected to play but has caught only one pass in the last five games since suffering a concussion and losing his job to Ernest Wilford.
     
  • QB David Garrard is taking all the snaps in practice this week as he gets ready to make his first start of the year against the Browns in place of the ailing Byron Leftwich.
     
  • QB Quinn Gray, who has never played in an NFL game, has moved up from the No. 3 slot to the No. 2 position. He only got one snap on a running play Thursday in practice because all the focus is on getting David Garrard ready. But he said he'll be ready if he's needed.

Browns Personnel News

  • LB Kenard Lang missed practice Thursday after being added to the injury report with the flu. Lang is expected to face Jacksonville, though.
     
  • OG Cosey Coleman (knee) is listed as questionable for the third week in a row, but he has practiced all week. The team expects Coleman to play.
     
  • NT Ethan Kelley replaced Jason Fisk in the starting lineup the last two games, but he may miss the Jaguars game with torn knee cartilage. Kelley has not practiced all week.
     
  • OG Joe Andruzzi could miss his third game in a row with knee and calf injuries. Andruzzi has not practiced all week.
     
  • RB Reuben Droughns is 59 yards from 1,000 yards. If he gets to 1,000, Droughns would end the Browns' 20-year drought. Cleveland has not had a 1,000-yard back since 1985, when Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner both topped 1,000.

     

INSIDE THE CAMPS

Jaguars:
The Jaguars insist they're not overlooking the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, even though the chatter has already started about next Sunday's showdown against the Indianapolis Colts.

If the Colts, as expected, beat the Tennessee Titans this week, they'll come into Alltel Stadium with a 12-0 record.

The Jaguars' attempt to knock the Colts from the ranks of the unbeaten would probably be Jacksonville's biggest game since their 1999 AFC title game loss to the Tennessee Titans.

The Jaguars tend to play the Colts well. They've split with the Colts the last two years and held them to 10 points in a 10-3 loss in Indianapolis on Sept. 18.

When a Sports Illustrated writer asked Reggie Hayward about why they play well against the Colts, he said, "Screw the Colts," and said they play well against them because the Jaguars are a good team.

Hayward said Friday he doesn't think he gave Indianapolis any extra motivation this week with the comment, although he said, "I didn't think he was going to write it down."

But Hayward said he didn't have any regrets about the comment, which might get some attention next week before the Dec. 11th game against the Colts.

Hayward said, "I don't think they're going to play any harder than what they were going to play before. I don't think they're going to listen to me and say, 'Aw, gosh, now we must play 10 times harder.' I think they care less about what I say about their situation. They don't need much motivation to play hard. They're professionals. They've got a lot at stake."

Hayward said the comments about the Colts weren't any indication the Jaguars are overlooking Sunday's game at Cleveland.
"The media is overlooking Cleveland. We're not overlooking Cleveland," he said.

Browns: Trent Dilfer returned to practice for the Browns on Thursday, but the team would not say if he or rookie Charlie Frye would start on Sunday.

Dilfer missed Wednesday's practice with a right knee injury that he said was worse than tendinitis, but he was back at work on Thursday.

The Browns did not say how much Dilfer practiced, but prior to the workout, coach Romeo Crennel said Frye would get "at least" half the reps.

"If Trent is ready to play, he's going to start," Frye said. "That's all I know."
 


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