Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins
Time: NOON CT (CBS)
Spread: MIA -10
M/L: MIA -390, CLE +320
Betting odds c/o 5dimes
The Miami Dolphins have not had any help from the schedule makers. Fresh off back-to-back losses to start the season, the Dolphins will turn their attention to a far lesser opponent in Week 3: The Cleveland Browns. NFL oddsmakers are favoring Miami by 10-points in the game, which will be a welcome relief after facing Seattle and New England the first two weeks of the season.
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Last week Miami fell 31-24 to the Pats, as New England amassed 459 yards of total offense, with Jacoby Brissett stepping in for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo and the Patriots not really missing a beat. Ryan Tannehill stumbled, as well, for Miami, throwing two interceptions while the Dolphins also fumbled it four times, losing two of them. Those turnovers and Tannehill’s mistakes limited an otherwise good offensive performance.
Jarvis Landry caught 10 of 13 targeted passes for 135 yards and DeVante Parker had eight catches for 106 yards. Jordan Cameron had five catches for 49 yards and one of the two Miami receiving TDs (the other was caught by Kenny Stills who had 39 yards on two catches).
The Dolphins ground game was pretty weak though. Tannehill led the way with 35 yards on six attempts, but Jay Ajayi, Kenyan Drake and Arian Foster combined for a total of 35 yards on 10 carries as the Dolphins managed just 70 total rushing yards as a 4.4 yard per carry average. Foster is also out for this game with a groin injury, which only makes things that much tougher for a team that has had so little success rushing the football.
Tannehill is now in his fifth NFL season out of Texas A&M and he is beginning to really come on, but he has to avoid the picks. Last year he threw 12 interceptions, tying his career-low, but averaging one per game is going to put him back to the futility he exhibited in 2013 when he launched 17 picks.
Tannehill has done good at keeping his per-attempt average up (over seven for the second consecutive year), but a return to the rushing he showed in 2014 would be a welcome change. Last season Tannehill rushed for just 141 yards on the year, while in 2014 he had over double that figure (311 yards and a 5.6 yard per carry average).
The Cleveland Browns fell 25-20 to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2 after having fallen 29-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1. Things just do not seem to get any easier for the Browns. The organization is still sort of shaking their collective heads over the failed Johnny Manziel experiment, mainly because Josh McCown is just pretty bad. He threw 20 of 33 last week for 260 yards but had two interceptions and was sacked three times for a loss of 18 yards.
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Corey Coleman caught both McCown’s TD passes with 104 yards on five catches.
Duke Johnson of Miami had four catches for 44 yards, but he rushed just three times picking up 12 yards on those attempts. Isaiah Crowell was the star of the offense with 133 yards on 18 carries and the lone Browns’ rushing TD, but McCown and Johnson have to give him some help if the Browns are going to win any games this season.
McCown was thrust into duty because Robert Griffin III suffered a shoulder injury which will cause him to miss nearly all of this season (10 to 12 weeks). Now with McCown facing a broken collar bone, the Browns options wear thinner still. Third-round pick Cody Kessler has gone from third string to starting in three weeks, entirely due to injury…
Crowell may be the key to the offense, anyway. He has rushed for an average of 6.5 yards per carry with a long-run of 85 yards. He has two TDs on the season and has rushed for six first downs.
Cleveland can move the ball, but without better execution it likely will not equate to much success. Being 10-point dogs against the Dolphins makes that fairly clear. Of course, expectations cannot run a lot higher with a rookie QB taking the helm far before he is seasoned for the role.