The 3-point favorite Cleveland Browns will host the banged up Buffalo Bills this Thursday night. The game kicks-off at 8:00 PM ET from FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. The game will be available to stream via Watch ESPN.
As far as NFL preseason games go, this may be the gem of the week with both teams in the midst of heated QB battles. Will this be the game where one of the quarterbacks separates themselves from the pack?
The Bills’ brain-trust will have a close eye on 6-foot-1, 215-pound wild card QB Tyrod Taylor. Taylor-fever is spreading in Buffalo and I expect him to get the majority of snaps this week after Matt Cassel started week 1. Last week, Taylor went 5 of 8 for 49 passing yards and also ran with the ball for 47 yards, earning him the starting gig this week.
Tyrod Taylor appears to be in the lead in Bills' QB race http://t.co/qgJiEyCMoH
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 18, 2015
The safer choice fo the Bills starting gig may be Cassel, who completed 7 of 8 passes against the Panthers on Friday. As for former first-round pick Manuel, he’s been relegated to working with the third stringers.
For the Browns, there’s reason to be optimistic. Sophomore QB Johnny Manziel showed enormous growth in his understanding of the NFL last week. Will that be enough? Not with how well journeyman Josh McCown played last week. He looked stellar in his preseason debut, completing all five of his passes for 33 yards and a TD. Because of that, he will get the start this week.
It's a new era for Johnny Manziel. After scoring a TD, he did not do his former trademark money sign. http://t.co/eN16YuVDN4
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) August 14, 2015
A Closer Look At The Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns NFL Preseason Week 2 Odds, Final Score Prediction & Broadcast Schedule
Buffalo Bills vs Cleveland Browns
Date: Thursday, August 20, 2015
Start Time: 8:00 PM ET
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Stadium: FirstEnergy Stadium
Odds: Browns -3
Game Total: 40
Radio: Buffalo vs Cleveland
TV Info: ESPN
Stream: Watch ESPN
“He’s going to get the majority of the game running with that group this second preseason game, so that’s the reasoning behind it," Rex Ryan said about Manuel via the Buffalo News. "Does that mean he won’t get the two reps? No. It doesn’t mean that at all, but is want we wanted to do. We’re going to put Tyrod in and mix in Matt. As the week goes on, don’t be surprised if he does get some two’s.
The bad news continues for the Bills as they have lost two RBs over the past week. Newly aquired rusher LeSean McCoy injured his hamstring at practice on Tuesday. After practice, Buffalo head coach Rex Ryan didn’t offer any specific details regarding the severity of the injury, but did say that McCoy would undergo an MRI.
"The trainer said that the hamstring is intact," Ryan said. "It’s not off the bone, so that’s real positive."
Rookie RB Karlos Williams underwent a “procedure” after being hospitalized Monday and will be out at least two weeks, coach Rex Ryan said Monday. Ryan declined to specify Williams’ procedure but smiled, calling it a “sensitive thing” and pointing toward his lower abdomen.
Williams woke up in pain Monday morning after he “felt something” weight lifting Sunday afternoon, Ryan said Monday.
Williams had 14 carries for 40 yards and a touchdown last week. He has begun to earn the trust of the coaching staff and front-office.
|2014 Offensive Leaders||2014 Defensive Leaders|
|QB Kyle Orton (3018 yds, 18 TDs, 10 INTs)||LB Preston Brown (109 tackles)|
|RB Fred Jackson (525 yds, 2 TDs)||CB Leodis McKelvin (4 INTs)|
|WR Sammy Watkins (982 yds, 6 TDs)||DE Mario Williams (14.5 sacks)|
While McCown is scheduled to start, all eyes will be on Manziel this week again.
Manziel’s goal is straightforward.
“Do better than last week,” Manziel said Tuesday after the joint practices against the Bills, per a transcript released by the team. “We scored once last week. Let’s get in twice this week.”
View Manziel’s NFL preseason week 1 highlights here:
With fellow QB Connor Shaw out for the season because of an injured right thumb, Thad Lewis will follow Manziel. The Browns have three quarterbacks on the roster, and coach Mike Pettine said he does not feel the need to add another.
"I think we are OK," Pettine said, again per a team transcript. "The volume won’t be as much as it was early in camp. I think if this had happened (preseason) Week 1, we would have looked to add an arm. I just don’t think we are there at this point."
|2014 Offensive Leaders||2014 Defensive Leaders|
|QB Brian Hoyer (3326 yds, 12 TDs, 13 INTs)||DB Donte Whitner (106 tackles)|
|RB Terrance West (673 yds, 4 TDs)||CB Buster Skrine (4 INTs)|
|WR Andrew Hawkins (824 yds, 2 TDs)||LB Paul Kruger (11.5 sacks)|
My NFL Preseason Week 2 Final Score Prediction: Bills 14-24 Browns.
Before LeSean McCoy’s injury, this game would of gone the Bills way. With Buffalo’s top two rushers sidelined, this game will go the Browns way.