Browns at Dolphins: Odds, trends, and more

Sep 8, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline (82) grabs a 34-yd touchdown pass ahead of the defense of Cleveland Browns cornerback Buster Skrine (22) during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline (82) grabs a 34-yd touchdown pass ahead of the defense of Cleveland Browns cornerback Buster Skrine (22) during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Cleveland Browns make the journey to South Beach as they take on the Miami Dolphins in their home opener.

At this point, both the Browns and the Dolphins are trying to salvage their seasons as both sit at 0-2. Miami’s offense came to life for this first time this season in the second half of last week’s game against the Patriots. This was both a combination of the Patriots playing vanilla defense and the Dolphins turning lose Ryan Tannehill and the offense.

While the Dolphins are putting up just 17 points per game, Cleveland has given up 27. Last week the Browns got off to hot start on offense, putting up 20 points in the first quarter. The problem? They scored nothing else the rest of the way.

Converted quarterback Terrelle Pryor saw 10 targets last week but only caught three of them as they were the only ones that were catchable. With rookie wideout Corey Coleman out for the time being with a broken hand, Pryor will play a big  factor in the pass game.

Per NFLSavant.com, one-third of the Dolphins offense has come from passes thrown short right. The Dolphins move around their receivers quite a bit, but their inability to throw the ball deep this season has taken its toll, as defenders can line up in press coverage (like New England did in the first half last week) and take away short throws. I’m intrigued to see how Cleveland will play these shorter, quicker receivers in Miami this week.

Cleveland is resorting to their third round draft pick, quarterback Cody Kessler. Miami has one of the best interior players in the game in defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The Patriots were able to limit the damage he did by double teaming him with center David Andrews and even chipping a running back at him. The Browns should incorporate early screens right at Suh to slow down his pass rush.

Next: NFL Week 3: Staff predictions

While this game isn’t the premiere match-up of the week, it will be a relatively close game between two teams clawing away for a much needed win.