2017 Colts Season Preview: Week 3 (vs. Cleveland Browns)

Intro: With the 2017 regular season right around the corner, Colts.com takes a close look at each week’s opponent heading into the season. We continue with the Week 3 matchup against the Cleveland Browns in Indianapolis.

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts continue an early-season home swing Week 3 when they play host to the Cleveland Browns.

With the season right around the corner, let's take a close look at the matchup:**

Week 3:** Indianapolis Colts vs. Cleveland Browns
Sunday, Sept. 24; 1 p.m.
Lucas Oil Stadium2016 synopsis:

The Browns in 2016 finished with a 1-15 record, placing fourth in the NFC North standings. The team opened its season with 14 straight losses before claiming its one and only victory of the season, 20-17, over the San Diego Chargers at FirstEnergy Stadium. In their first season under head coach Hue Jackson, Cleveland struggled mightily at times, but also had plenty of chances throughout the season to earn other victories, losing five games by six points or fewer, including two in overtime.

Photo highlights from the Colts win over the Browns in Cleveland.

Although Jackson has had considerable success in the past working with various quarterbacks, the Browns couldn't get over some serious offensive woes in 2016, ranking 30th in the league in total offense (311 yards per game), including 28th in passing yards (204 per game), while ranking 14th in rushing (107 yards per game).

The Browns in 2016 had three quarterbacks start at least three games, led by Cody Kessler, who had eight starts; he completed 128-of-195 passes (65.6 percent) for 1,380 yards with six touchdowns to two interceptions, though he would be sacked 21 times. Robert Griffin III started just five games in an injury-plagued season, and completed 87-of-147 passes (59.2 percent) for 886 yards with two touchdowns to three picks, while also running the ball 41 times for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Finally, veteran Josh McCown also started three games; he completed 90-of-165 passing attempts (54.5 percent) for 1,100 yards with six touchdowns and interceptions apiece.

The stars of the Cleveland offense, however, were running back Isaiah Crowell and wide receiver Terelle Pryor. Crowell ran the ball 198 times for 952 yards — a 4.8 yards-per-carry average — and seven touchdowns, while Pryor caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns through the air.

The Browns' defense struggled even more than their offense, however, ranking 31st in the league in yards allows (392.4 per game). The unit was led by linebacker Christian Kirksey, who had 148 tackles to go along with 2.5 sacks and three passes defensed. Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah led the team with six sacks, while cornerbacks Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Jamar Taylor and Joe Haden each had a team-leading three interceptions.
Veteran left tackle Joe Thomas was the Browns' lone Pro Bowl selection on the year.Key additions:

Guard Kevin Zeitler, center J.C. Tretter, wide receiver Kenny Britt, cornerback Jason McCourty, wide receiver James Wright, tackle Matt McCants2017 NFL Draft picks:

Defensive end Myles Garrett (Round 1, Pick 1), safety Jabrill Peppers (Round 1, Pick 25), tight end David Njoku (Round 1, Pick 29), quarterback DeShone Kizer (Round 2, Pick 20), defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi (Round 3, Pick 1), cornerback Howard Wilson (Round 4, Pick 20), tackle Roderick Johnson (Round 5, Pick 16), defensive tackle Caleb Brantley (Round 6, Pick 1), kicker Zane Gonzalez (Round 7, Pick 6), running back Matt Dayes (Round 7, Pick 34)Key losses:

Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (Redskins), guard Austin Pasztor (free agent), defensive tackle Stephen Paea (Cowboys), tight end Gary Barnidge (free agent), safety Jordan Poyer (Bills), cornerback Tramon Williams (free agent), wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (Patriots), guard Alvin Bailey (free agent), quarterback Robert Griffin III (free agent), quarterback Josh McCown (Jets).Series history vs. Colts:

Browns lead, 17-16Last matchup:

Dec. 7, 2014: Colts 25, Browns 24; FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland)

2017 Colts Season Previews:
Week 1 (at Los Angeles Rams)
Week 2 (vs. Arizona Cardinals)
Week 3 (vs. Cleveland Browns)
Week 4 (at Seattle Seahawks)
Week 5 (vs. San Francisco 49ers)
Week 6 (at Tennessee Titans)
Week 7 (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)
• Week 8 (at Cincinnati Bengals)
• Week 9 (at Houston Texans)
• Week 10 (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)
• Week 12 (vs. Tennessee Titans)
• Week 13 (at Jacksonville Jaguars)
• Week 14 (at Buffalo Bills)
• Week 15 (vs. Denver Broncos)
• Week 16 (at Baltimore Ravens)
• Week 17 (vs. Houston Texans)

The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.

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