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Browns-Bills matchup of the day: Wednesday

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Posted Dec. 08, 2010 @ 7:34 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Here's a matchup to watch in Sunday's Browns-Bills game.

Bills RB Fred Jackson vs. Browns run defense

Sleet and/or snow is in the forecast Sunday in Orchard Park, N.Y. As the Browns could lean on rugged RB Peyton Hillis, so could the Bills heavily rely on RB Fred Jackson.

The 6-1, 215-pound Jackson has rushed for 663 yards on 152 carries this season. He rushed for more than 100 yards in back-to-back games in Weeks 10 and 11 and racked up 104 yards receiving, including a 65-yard TD, against stout Pittsburgh in Week 12. He had 42 yards on 11 carries and one catch for six yards in Buffalo's 38-14 loss to Buffalo last week.

Speedy rookie C.J. Spiller (48 carries, 199 yards in 10 games) could occasionally spell Jackson.

"With Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, these are both guys that can get the yards that are there, but then they can generate yards either on the perimeter with cutback runs that some other guys can't," Browns head coach Eric Mangini said Wednesday.

The Bills have attempted 294 rushes, well below the league average. They are gaining 4.4 yards per carry, better than the NFL average of 4.2. Overall, they are gaining 107.9 yards a game on the ground, 17th in the league.

The Browns surrender 119.1 yards per game on the ground, 20th in the NFL, but they are allowing a solid 4.1 yards per carry, and they were able to hold the Dolphins to just 3.6 yards per attempt, something Mangini liked.

The Bills have been most likely to run up the middle this season, with 110 attempts in that direction. Keep an eye on the matchup between Browns NT Ahtyba Rubin and Bills C Eric Wood, who replaces the injured Geoff Hangartner.

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