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Falcons-Browns matchup of the day: Friday

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Posted Oct. 08, 2010 @ 10:41 a.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Here's a closer look at a matchup to watch in Sunday's Falcons-Browns game:

Browns' pass rush vs. Falcons' pass protection 


The Browns recorded four sacks in Week Four, doubling their total entering the game. OLB Matt Roth had two, his final one coming on a 3rd-and-13 play at the Cleveland 41 with 5:14 left in the game when he rushed off right end and chased down Bengals QB Carson Palmer to force a Cincinnati punt. OLB Scott Fujita, who's off to a good start with Cleveland after signing with the team in the offseason, had a sack and forced fumble, and DLE Kenyon Coleman, who didn't practice all week because of a knee injury, added a sack as well.



That was the good news about the Cleveland pass rush. The bad news was that yet another blitz failed, and QB Carson Palmer hit WR Terrell Owens for a 78-yard TD pass, marking the third consecutive game opponents beat the Browns' blitz with a scoring throw.



The Falcons have allowed eight sacks this season, including a season-worst three vs. San Francisco in Week Four. 49ers OLB Parys Haralson had two sacks, including one where he beat ORT Tyson Clabo by starting his rush move outside, then cutting inside. On his other sack, he rushed off the left edge, pushed RB Michael Turner backward and sacked QB Matt Ryan.



In Roth, Fujita and Marcus Benard, the Browns have three solid edge rushers, and they are not afraid to blitz. The question is, how will the Browns cope if the Falcons get good blocking up front, giving QB Matt Ryan the time he needs in the pocket? 



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