Scouting Report - Week 15 - Bills-Browns


**Top 3 Individual Matchups
Lorenzo Alexander vs. Joe Thomas

**Two veterans, who are probably each headed to the Pro Bowl, will be an interesting matchup of intelligent, savvy players. Who will set who up better to make more plays?

John Miller vs. Emmanuel OgbahBuffalo's right guard is closing out a solid second NFL campaign. Sunday he faces one of Cleveland's stronger rookie contributors. Ogbah leads the Browns in sacks and stands second in tackles for loss.

Sammy Watkins vs. Joe HadenNeither Haden (groin) nor Watkins (foot) are 100 percent healthy, but it's still a battle of top flight talents and should offer a number of legitimate one-on-one battles through the course of the game.

Bills Top 2 Advantages
Good advantage - Pass defense
Facing one of the worst passing games in the league should be no match for the league's seventh-ranked pass defense. Stephon Gilmore is playing some of his best football down the stretch and Ronald Darby is back in the lineup.

Best advantage - Run gameEven though the Browns will likely try to go to school on the run blitzing scheme that worked so well for the Steelers last week, there just isn't enough collective talent to slow Buffalo's league-leading rushing attack, which features the elusive LeSean McCoy.Bills Number 1 Must
Rebound versus the run
Buffalo's run defense was ranked as high as 15th in Week 7. They've since tumbled all the way to 28th this week. The Bills have to rebound after allowing a season-high 236 rushing yards to Le'Veon Bell last week and shut down a Browns rushing attack that is fresh off a 169-yard day against Cincinnati. If they do that, Buffalo wins the game going away.

**Scouting Eye
Lopsided results

**They've all been losses for the Browns and few of late have even been close. Cleveland had a three week stretch where two of their losses were by three points or less. But since then they just haven't been competitive. In their last five games they've lost by an average of more than 17 points per game (17.6).

The Browns have been most grossly outscored in the third quarter this season. Opponents have outscored them by a 4:1 margin right after halftime (93-23).

A bright spotIn a season where a lot hasn't gone right there has been one productive element for Cleveland. It's RB Isaiah Crowell. The Browns leading rusher has averaged 4.6 yards per carry this season (ranks 7th) and leads the team with five touchdowns.

Last week against the Bengals he rolled up 113 yards on just 10 carries for an 11.3 average. He has three 100-yard rushing efforts on the season.

QB quintetA handful of signal callers have had to man the quarterback position for the Browns this season. After Robert Griffin III went to injured reserve in Week 2 with a shoulder injury, Cleveland has seen Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, Wally Whitehurst and even Terrelle Pryor take snaps at quarterback.

Griffin III finally returned to the lineup last week after coming off of I-R. He went 12-28 passing for 104 yards and an interception with a passer rating of 38.4.

The Browns highest rated quarterback this season is the rookie, Kessler with a mark of 92.6 rating.

Familiar faceAcquired by the Browns in a trade with the Patriots in Week 8, LB Jamie Collins can be an impact player on defense. In his last four games against the Bills (when still with New England) he racked up 25 tackles, 3.5 sacks, six quarterback hits and a forced fumble.

In five games with the Browns he has 49 tackles, a pair of sacks and six tackles for loss.

Charitable in the red zoneA big part of the reason Cleveland sits 31st in points allowed is their red zone defense. First, they've handed their opponents more red zone possessions than all but two teams (San Francisco, Oakland) and opponents have reached the end zone more than two-thirds of the time (67.4%). That is the third-highest touchdown percentage against in the NFL.

Can't find the stop signThe red zone isn't the only place where Cleveland's defense struggles. They're last in the league in third down defense (48.2% conversion allowed), 27th in plays of 20-plus yards allowed (54) and last in opponent passer rating (104.2). Even when blitzing their opponent QB passer rating is 117.6, which is the highest allowed in the league.

Buffalo Chips
Quote of the week
"It's hard to think about (individual) success when you're not winning games. You know, one of my best seasons was a losing season, stats wise and that kind of sucked. So, you always want to win, I mean that's why you play the game. You play the game to win, compete, take care of your family. That's the main reason that I play this game."
--RB LeSean McCoy

Stat of the weekRushing yards per game for the Bills - 154.6
Rushing yards allowed by the Browns - 146.2

Milestones in reachDan Carpenter needs six points to reach 450 as a Bill.

LeSean McCoy needs 24 rushing yards to reach 1,000 on the season. It would be the fifth season of his career with 1,000 or more rushing yards.

Tyrod Taylor needs 29 rushing yards for 500 on the season.

Kyle Williams needs one sack for 40 in his career.

Final noteWith two rushing touchdowns the Bills (24) will tie a franchise record for most rushing TDs in a season (26 in 1975).

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