Behind Enemy Lines with Dawg Pound Daily


Nov 1, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) throws a pass during the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cardinals beat the Browns 34-20. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals will take on the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football, so before the game, we had the chance to ask Thomas Moore, editor of Dawg Pound Daily, a few questions pertaining to tomorrow’s matchup under the lights.

Connor Howe: Josh McCown has injuries to both his right shoulder and his ribs. Will he–or should he–play this week?

Thomas Moore: Head coach Mike Pettine made the announcement on Wednesday that Johnny Manziel will start at quarterback on Thursday.

As much as McCown has done everything the team could expect, there is just no way that with a short turnaround he could have taken the field against the Bengals. (Even if the game was on Sunday he may not have been ready.)

Connor: McCown has quietly been a very good quarterback this season, throwing for almost 2,000 yards, 11 touchdowns and just four interceptions, but he only has two wins to show for it. Should Cleveland keep rolling with McCown or see what it has in Johnny Manziel?

Thomas: The Browns need to play each week to win, not see what they have with Manziel.

While McCown’s numbers look good, he still hasn’t been very effective, especially in the red zone, which helps tell in part why the Browns are sitting at 2-6. The injuries to McCown may open the door for Manziel a bit sooner than the Browns would have liked, but the opportunity is now there.

Following the game against Cincinnati, the Browns will only play once over the next 25 days. If Manziel looks good (or at least competent) against the Bengals, the time and opportunity may be there to make a switch.

Connor: One of the bigger surprises of the season has been seeing that both Josh McCown and Brian Hoyer are both playing very well, especially when compared to how they played in 2014. Do you think that Hoyer was simply a bad fit for Cleveland, or is it something else that has caused these two veterans to considerably improve and become reliable quarterbacks this season?

Thomas: Hoyer was in a tough situation last season with Cleveland. It was the first real chance he had to show he is an NFL starting quarterback, so he needed to focus all of his attention on his game, leaving little time to put up with an immature Manziel.

The situation is different with McCown because of his age. He can go about his business while still helping out Manziel (who has reportedly done better this year during the week) because McCown knows his career is closer to the end than the beginning.

We would have been fine with the Browns bringing back Hoyer simply because he is much younger than McCown, but the fate of the current Browns is not a result of Hoyer throwing pick sixes in Houston.

ConnorJoe Haden looks like he’s going to be questionable or doubtful for Sunday. Do you think Tramon Williams is capable of negating A.J. Green from the game as Haden has done in the past?

Thomas: Williams has been a solid veteran, but Green is a rough matchup no matter who lines up for the Browns in the secondary.

Connor: The Browns have a laundry list of injuries affecting both the offense and defense. Any chance the Browns win this one? (If so, what do they have to do to win?)

Thomas: There is always a chance, just look at what happened last year when the Browns visited Cincinnati. And we hate to break it to your readers, but the Bengals are not going 16-0, so they have to lose sometime.

For that to happen, the Browns need to avoid turning the ball over, show some competence on defense (especially against the run) and probably find a score from the special teams.

Connor: What’s your final score prediction?

Thomas: Cincinnati, 28-14

BONUS: Quick-fire Uniform edition

Seeing the Steelers’ bumblebee/prison stripe uniforms in Sunday’s victory inspired me to ask Thomas about his perspective on NFL uniforms.

Connor: Which team has the best current NFL uniforms?

Thomas: Raiders, Packers and Cowboys

Connor: Which team has the worst current NFL uniforms?

Thomas: Browns. Took a classic and turned it into something a WAC team would wear.

Connor: Which NFL team has the best helmets?

Thomas: Raiders and Cowboys

Connor: Which NFL team has the ugliest helmets?

Thomas: Jaguars

Connor: Which NFL team has the best throwbacks?

Thomas: Patriots and Chiefs (when the Chiefs wear the Houston Texans throwbacks)

Connor: Which NFL team has the worst throwbacks?

Thomas: Steelers prison stripes. (C’mon, is there really any other acceptable answer?)

Next: Bengals Safeties Returning to Dominance

Again, a huge thank you to Thomas Moore of Dawg Pound Daily. If you are a Cleveland Browns fan or just an AFC North fan, or any NFL fan for that matter, be sure to check out his work over there. I can honestly say that Dawg Pound Daily is the best Browns site on the Internet–and I would know; I read his work every Monday. Be sure to follow Dawg Pound Daily on Twitter, and follow Thomas’ personal Twitter account as well for anything and everything Browns-related.