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Falcons-Browns prediction

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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening

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Posted Oct. 10, 2010 @ 12:08 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

I must say I am very intrigued by this matchup — the clubs meet just once every four years in the regular season. This helps the Browns; as I noted this week, the Falcons know of RS Joshua Cribbs, but they haven't tried to tackle him in a regular-season meeting in four years. So perhaps Cleveland jump-starts the return game. 

A field-position-changing play or two would really help Cleveland, for the Falcons string drives together exceptionally well. Their running game is relentless, their passing game efficient. They convert third downs at a 47.7 percent clip. They have committed 10 fewer penalties than the Browns, and they have five more takeaways than turnovers.

I think this will be a slow-paced game, and I believe this actually favors the Falcons, who have shown they can string drives together just a little better than the Browns, who are a respectable 19-for-51 on third down this season (37.3 percent). And the Falcons' passing game looms as a major edge against a Browns secondary that has not impressed the last two weeks. 

Prediction: Falcons 23, Browns 10  

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