Two teams that play contrasting styles of football will match up this Sunday in South Florida, as the Cleveland Browns will face the Miami Dolphins. The Browns secured a big win in their last game, defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 32-13 on Monday Night Football before heading into their Week 9 bye. Miami has won three straight games, inclusive of their shootout victory over the Chicago Bears last Sunday by a final score of 35-32.
We’ll take a look at three things to watch for in this AFC battle.
Hey, I Know You
While this game might fall just short of a classic revenge narrative, there is a lot of familiarity between Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett and the Miami Dolphins. After all, Brissett was the backup to Tua Tagovailoa last season, and ended up starting five games with the team in 2021.
Brissett practiced against the Dolphins defense last season, which is still run by the same defensive coordinator, Josh Boyer. He was a holdover from the Brian Flores staff, so it’ll be interesting to see if the experience Brissett gained last year in practice will give him an advantage on Sunday. By that same token, Boyer had an up close and person look at Brissett last season as well, and might try to expose weaknesses that he identified a year ago.
A Family Affair
The Chubb Bowl will be in full effect on Sunday, as Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb will see his cousin Bradley playing linebacker across the line of scrimmage. It’s a fun narrative, as there will undoubtedly be opportunities for Bradley Chubb to tackle his family member for a short gain. Nick Chubb is one of the best running backs in the NFL, and is tough to bring down at first contract.
Miami traded for Bradley Chubb a few days before their game with the Bears, so he was not expected to have a large impact last week given his lack of familiarity with the defensive scheme. However, considering that the Dolphins traded a first round pick for his services, fans will be looking for Bradley Chubb to make more of a difference against Cleveland.
Game Script Will Matter
As alluded to in the introduction, these two teams approach the game in very different ways. They like the contest to unfold in a certain way to highlight the strength of their rosters. As we saw against the Bengals, the Browns are a formidable team when they’re able to jump out to a lead or keep the game close. This allows them to control the clock with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt churning up yards out of the backfield.
Miami will also look to receive contributions from their ground game, but their focus is much more fixated on getting dynamic wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill the ball down the field. They’ve proven time and time again that they can score quickly, and won’t hesitate to use both players’ speed to test Cleveland’s secondary.