The Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns haven’t made the playoffs in a very long time, something both franchises want to change this season.
One of these teams will be on the right track after week one.
However for either of these teams to make a playoff run, it’s important that second-year quarterbacks Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden take the next step.
The Dolphins looked to get Tannehill some help for an offense that ranked only 27th in the league last season by going on a spending spree that included game-breaking wide receiver Mike Wallace.
For the Browns, it’s another season opener with another new coach as Rob Chudzinski makes his debut as Cleveland’s coach.
Both defenses have enough talent to compete, but can either offense prove that it is playoff ready?
Let’s take a look.
When: Sunday, September 8
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
Place: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio
Spread: Browns -2
Last Meeting: 2011, Browns 17-16 at First Energy Stadium
Key for Dolphins: Protect the quarterback
The Dolphins added some skill players and will look to keep not only Tannehill comfortable, but get Lamar Miller involved early and often. To do that though, the Dolphins’ offensive line must do a better job than in years past.
The Browns have transitioned from a 4-3 defense into a 3-4 scheme and signed free agent linebackers Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves along with end Desmond Bryant. They will try and come after Tannehill often
They lost left tackle Jake Long who departed for St. Louis, so the Miami offensive line will prove to be a question mark throughout the season, but if they allow a talented Cleveland pass rush to get to Tannehill, it could be a long day.
Key for Browns: Stop the run
Cleveland looks to be without Ahtyba Rubin and rookie Barkevious Mingo, which could hurt their pass rush, but if they don’t stop Miller, they will go home 0-1.
The Dolphins will look to get Miller a heavy workload and the Browns need to eliminate the run and force Tannehill to beat them.
This is a defense that has talent, but allowed 363.8 yards per game last season to rank 23rd in the NFL.
Making the Dolphins one-dimensional will go a long way to helping change that number.
Prediction: This is a game that really could go either way and I think whichever second-year signal caller plays better will determine the winner. I’m going with Weeden. He had his share of troubles at home last year, throwing five touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 54.2 percent of his passes. But he is going against a Dolphins defense that ranked 27th against the pass in 2012. Chudzinski, the franchise’s seventh coach since 1999, will get his first win. Browns 20, Dolphins 17