JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (6-3) AT CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-9)
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FirstEnergy Stadium. TV: CBS, Andrew Catalon, James Lofton.
SERIES HISTORY: 17th regular-season meeting. Jaguars lead series, 11-5. The Browns lost the first six times they played the Jaguars. Since then they are 6-6, which, for a team that has had 10 straight losing seasons, is a major success.
KEYS TO THE GAME: Jacksonville leads the NFL in rushing (163) and Cleveland has the league's fourth-fewest rushing yards allowed (86.4), but that isn't likely to deter the Jaguars from running the ball. The Jaguars feel they have a premier running back in Leonard Fournette and will continue to feed him the ball.
Blake Bortles has been solid in recent weeks and he does have three straight games of at least 250 passing yards. But Sunday he faces the possibility of not having any of his top four wide receivers. It's possible the only wideouts with receptions who will play are Keelan Cole (11 catches, 158 yards), Arrelious Benn (1 for 12) and Jaydon Mickens (1 for 11).
The Browns' offense has showed life and Kizer gets back wide receiver Corey Coleman, who will be playing for the first time since breaking his right hand in the second game of the season. Along with running back Duke Johnson, the Browns might be able to make the Jaguars nervous if Kizer can avoid turning the ball over against a ball-hawking secondary led by former Cleveland Pro Bowler Tashaun Gipson.
The Browns must get strong play from the offensive line, which will start backups Spencer Drango at left tackle and Zach Banner at right tackle.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
--Jaguars offensive line vs. Browns defensive line. It's strength against strength. The Browns' front line has been solid in shutting down running attacks; the Browns are fourth in the league for fewest rushing yards allowed per game. But the Jaguars' offensive line, patched up at times, has been equally impressive and has opened holes for four running backs to accumulate 163 yards a game, best in the NFL. With Jaguars tackles Cam Robinson and Jermey Parnell both hindered with recent injuries, Browns defensive ends Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah could wreak havoc on Jacksonville's running game.
--Browns QB DeShone Kizer vs. Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson. Gipson is tied for the Jacksonville lead with three interceptions. Kizer has been careful with the ball the last two weeks, but he will have to be on high alert with Gipson roaming in center field, waiting for the Jaguars' pass rush to force Kizer into a mistake.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Jaguars CB A.J. Bouye. Coming into the season, the focus on the Jaguars' secondary was squarely on Jalen Ramsey. The signing of Bouye as a free agent was thought to be a positive move, but there was concern that he had only been a full-time starter in Houston for one of his four seasons. But Bouye is showing that his 2016 season was not a fluke, that he is a high-quality, dependable cornerback. His three interceptions are tied for the team high and none were more important than his 51-yard return in overtime that set up the Jaguars' winning field goal last week against the Chargers.
FAST FACTS: Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has a 90-plus rating in two of the past three games against the AFC North. He is looking for his fourth straight game with 250 passing yards. ... RB Leonard Fournette has 130-plus yards from scrimmage in three of the past four games. In three career road games, he has 453 total yards and four touchdowns. He leads NFL rookies with six rushing touchdowns and ranks second with 629 rushing yards. ... RB Corey Grant had a 56-yard rushing TD on a fake punt last week. He has two fourth-down runs of at least 50 yards this season, more than all active players combined in their careers. ... DE Calais Campbell has 7.5 sacks in his last four road games and ranks second in NFL with 11 sacks. ... CB Jalen Ramsey has 16 passes defended and two interceptions in his last six road games. ... S Tashaun Gipson had 14 interceptions in four seasons with Cleveland (2012-15). He has 17 interceptions since 2013, third most among NFL safeties. ... Browns QB DeShone Kizer threw for 232 yards and one touchdown and had a rushing touchdown in last week's loss to Detroit. He has three games with a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown, second most among quarterbacks. ... RB Isaiah Crowell ran for 90 yards and a touchdown in the loss to Detroit. He has 213 total yards and two scores in the past two games. ... LB Christian Kirksey had a sack against Detroit last week. He has 25 tackles in his past two home games and is one of five players with 325 tackles (345) and 10 sacks (10.5) since entering the league in 2014. ... Rookie DE Myles Garrett has four sacks -- all in his past four games -- and is tied for second among rookies.
PREDICTION: It will start feeling a lot more like November on the banks of Lake Erie, with temperatures in the low 30s, which could affect the passing game. If rookie defensive end Myles Garrett can slow down Leonard Fournette, it will be a close game. Ex-Browns' safety Tashaun Gipson rattled some chains earlier in the week, making bold predictions of embarrassing his former team. An 0-9 team doesn't need any extra motivation.
OUR PICK: Browns, 28-24.