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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
Pushing an opponent and getting the upper hand are two different things. The Browns, heavy underdogs again, can compete with the Saints, but their chances for the outright upset seem slim.
The Saints' passing game gives them a major edge vs. the Browns, whose secondary has surrendered too many big plays. The Saints' pass defense and pass rush could also have the upper hand vs. the Browns' passing attack, too. Though Browns QB Colt McCoy threw for 281 yards against Pittsburgh in Week Six, he is making only his second career start.
More improvement from McCoy, coupled with an ability to establish the run, could give the Browns a chance to keep this close. But neither of those are a given, and I am not confident in Cleveland's ability to get enough stops against QB Drew Brees. The Browns are better equipped to face the Saints than they would have been a season ago, even with a rookie passer under center, but they are still quite vulnerable.
Prediction: Saints 24, Browns 12