GameScout: Colts - Browns

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Cleveland Browns (1-1) at Indianapolis Colts (2-0)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
SURFACE: FieldTurf 
TV: CBS, Don Criqui, Steve Tasker 

25th meeting. Browns lead, 14-10. Oddly, the Browns have had more success against the Colts on the road than they have in Cleveland. They are 9-4 on the Colts' home turf, but only 3-3 in Indianapolis. This is their first game in the RCA Dome since their rebirth in 1999. 

Browns: offense 4th (26th rush, 2nd pass); defense 31st (29th rush, 30th pass). 
Colts: offense 20th (10th rush, 22nd pass); defense 24th (14th rush, 24th pass)

PREDICTION: Colts 31-17

Browns coach Romeo Crennel doesn't have the same personnel, but as the Patriots' defensive coordinator he was 6-0 against the Colts and limited QB Peyton Manning to nine touchdowns against 10 INTs. The Browns will move a lot before the snap and switch between man and zone coverage. But the real key will be limiting RB Edgerrin James early on and then keeping the Colts' high powered passing game in front of the corners. Cleveland will likely have to win the turnover margin handily because Indianapolis' improved defense has allowed 10 points through two games. The Colts are averaging 4.5 sacks, while the Browns' offensive line has yet to allow one. For that to continue, RB Reuben Droughns must be effective on the ground to avoid third-and-long situations for immobile QB Trent Dilfer.

Browns: Dilfer is 27-9 in his past 36 starts. ... Have not allowed a sack in consecutive games for the first time since 1992. 
Colts: Manning has passed for two or more touchdowns in 57.0 percent of his career games (65 of 114), the highest percentage of all-time. ... Six-game
home winnings streak is one shy of the franchise record set from 1998-99.

L.J. Shelton has never played Dwight Freeney, which may be the reason Shelton is excited about facing Freeney when the Browns travel to 
Indianapolis on Sunday. Shelton may not truly realize what he's in for.

"It's a challenge," Shelton said. "But I'm up for it."

Shelton is a big blocker - 6-foot-6 and 345 pounds - who might seem vulnerable to a lightning-quick guy like Freeney. But Shelton probably will get help. Browns coach Romeo Crennel and line coach Jeff Davidson saw Freeney a lot in New England, and they know what he can do. It's not likely Freeney will get a lot of single-up blocks. So expect Shelton to get help from a fullback, running back or tight end in blocking Freeney.

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