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Browns-Dolphins matchup of the day: Saturday

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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening

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Posted Dec. 04, 2010 @ 12:58 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Browns RB Peyton Hillis vs. Dolphins' run defense

There is a strong argument for Hillis being one of the AFC's more valuable running backs. He leads the Browns in rushing (199 carries, 905 yards, 11 TDs) and in receptions (46-414-1). The Browns haven't had a reliable backup for him for much of the season, leaving him to carry a heavy workload. At present, Mike Bell, who's rushed for all of 22 yards on 16 carries with Cleveland, is Hillis' backup, with FB Lawrence Vickers the emergency option.

The 240-pound Hillis can flat out run over his opposition, as Panthers S Charles Godfrey found out the hard way on Hillis' third TD run vs. Carolina in Week 12. Hillis' size, burst and power make him an ideal between-the-tackles runner, but he's also not easy to bring down in space once he gets a head of steam.

The Dolphins have been solid vs. the run this season, allowing just 3.8 yards per carry. They were especially stout last week, limiting Raiders RB Darren McFadden to just two yards on eight carries in Week 12. Miami, like Cleveland, employs a 3-4 front, with three defensive linemen and four linebackers, and after shutting down McFadden, it will be interesting to see how it fares against Hillis, another Arkansas product who runs hard.

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