Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12 other subscribers

MN Vikings Tweets

Bleacher Report – Vikings

Cleveland Browns Scouting Report

Photo – Getty Images

By: Aj Mansour |

UPDATE – Trent Richardson was traded to the Indianapolis Colts this afternoon (CLICK HERE to read more) so this scouting report has been edited since this afternoon. Strike through text is no longer relevant and Italicized text is updated to reflect the trade.

Minneapolis, MN – Week three brings the Cleveland Browns to Mall of America Field for the Vikings home opener in what has proven early to be a rocky 2013 season. To date, both teams are 0-2 and have suffered through some very real and some out of character struggles.

The all-time matchup between these two teams has favored the Vikings in 11 of their 14 meetings including the last four head-to-head meetings. The most recent game saw Adrian Peterson run for 180 yards and three touchdowns in the season opener back in 2009. The Vikings went on to win that game 34-20.

Both teams have had a lot of turnover since that last meeting, so here is the scouting report on the 2013 Cleveland Browns.

The Browns will enter Mall of America Field Sunday with an 0-2 record after posting tough losses to the Miami Dolphins (23-10 in week 1) and the Baltimore Ravens (14-6 in week 2). Through both games, the Browns have carried a lead into the half only to crumble in the third and fourth quarters and watch the game slip out of their hands. The Browns are led by first-year coach Rob Chudzinski who spent time as the Browns offensive coordinator in 2007/2008 and led Cleveland to their most successful offensive season (5,621 yards and 402 points) since returning to Cleveland in 1999.

BROWNS OFFENSE: The Browns offense will be a new-look offense this weekend as starting quarterback Brandon Weeden will miss the game with a sprained thumb on his throwing hand. Fifth year quarterback Brian Hoyer leapfrogged backup quarterback Jason Campbell and will get the start on Sunday. Hoyer has one career start which came in the 2012 season with the Arizona Cardinals. Hoyer didn’t get the win on that day against the 49ers but went 19-for-34 passing for 225 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

2013 Offensive Statistics (ranking)

Total Yards
Passing Yards
Rushing Yards

Points Per Game

550 yards (25th)
438 yards (22nd)
112 yards (29th)
8.0 ppg (31st)

Despite the questions surrounding the passing game with Hoyer’s inexperience and the terrifying presence of last year’s third overall pick (Trent Richardson) Willis McGahee in the backfield, Chudzinski hopes that his team will not get locked into any particular scheme on offense.

“I believe in balance,” Chudzinski said. “[You’ve got to be] able to throw the ball. There’s a lot of teams in this league that defensively are so good that you have to be able to win games in different ways.”

So far, the lone threat in the passing game has been tight end Jordan Cameron but the re-emergence of Josh Gordon should aid Hoyer in his quest to balance out the Browns offense. Gordon, who missed the Browns first two games with a suspension, should add a dimension to the offense that was missing through the first two weeks. Gordon caught 50 passes for 805 yards and five touchdowns during his rookie campaign a season ago and looks to continue that trend in his sophomore year.

Whether or not Hoyer comes out of the gates and does well, the true identity of this team will funnel through running back Trent Richardson one way or another.

Richardson is off to a slow start this season with no touchdowns and only 105 yards on the year.

“We’ve got a little hump that we’ve got to get over,” Richardson told me Wednesday morning. “But when we get over it it’s going to be big. I knew from the new coaching staff, to everybody just gelling here it’s going to be kind of a not so good start. At the same time, that’s what building the team chemistry is for. When the time comes, it’s going to come hard.”

Richardson battled through broken ribs and an injured knee last year to lead the Browns five wins while piling up 950 yards on the ground and 11 touchdowns. Trent is also a threat in the short passing game, precisely where the Vikings have struggled this season. Last year Richardson caught 51 balls for 367 yards and a touchdown.

Willis McGahee is likely to start at running back for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. If it’s not McGahee it will be Bobby Rainey. For reference, McGahee is 31 and can barely walk and Bobby Rainey has ZERO career rushes. Good luck Cleveland…

Despite the winless start, the Browns defense has actually played pretty well. Allowing only 18.5 points per game, the Browns rank 6th in the league for yardage allowed and are stout in both the run game (4th) and the passing game (12th). Last week against Ray Rice and the Ravens, Cleveland held Rice to only 36 yards rushing.

2013 Defensive Statistics (rankings)

Yards Per Game
Passing Yards
Rushing Yards
Points Allowed
571 yards (6th)
452 yards (12th)
199 yards (4th)
18.5 ppg (12th)
2 (9th in AFC)

“When you take a look at Cleveland’s defense, that’s not the area that they’ve struggled,” Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier told me Wednesday afternoon. “They’re playing very very good defense. Not giving up yards in the run game. They’re doing a very good job in pass defense. This is a very stout front seven that they have.”

The Browns defensive front has done a respectable job so far recording six total sacks through two weeks of the season. Seeing his first time of the season last week against Baltimore, rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo got to the quarterback and sacked Flacco on his very first play. Right defensive end Desmond Bryant has already tallied 2.5 sacks himself this year.

Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings updates and breaking Vikings news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN

Read more:

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>