Today's game

November 19, 1995|By Mike Preston

Site: Cleveland Stadium

Time: 1 p.m.

TV: Ch. 45

Records: Browns 4-6, Packers 6-4

Line: Packers by 5

Last week: The Browns lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 20-3; the Packers beat the Chicago Bears, 35-28.

Last meeting: Fullback Kevin Mack scored touchdowns on runs of 4 and 2 yards and led all runners with 75 yards on 19 carries to lead the Browns to a 17-6 win at Cleveland Stadium on Oct. 18, 1992.

The series: The Packers lead 7-6. The teams have split the past four meetings. Since the Browns moved to the AFC as part of the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, the teams have met only five times -- in 1972, 1980, 1983, 1986 and 1992. In the pre-merger NFL days, the Packers and Browns also met once for the NFL championship, with the Packers winning, 23-12, in Jim Brown's final game.

On the sidelines: The Browns' offense was horrendous last week with 120 yards. A lot of players are starting to point fingers, and it could get worse today for the players and coach Bill Belichick before a hostile Cleveland Stadium crowd. For the Packers, coach Mike Holmgren is 35-27 in his fourth season.

What the Browns have to do to win: The Browns must not be bothered by the crowd and must cut down on the penalties that hurt them last week against the Steelers. Cleveland also has to do a better job of protecting immobile quarterback Eric Zeier. The Browns need to establish the run to take pressure off Zeier.

What the Packers have to do to win: The Packers have one of the best front sevens in the league against the run. If they control the line of scrimmage, Green Bay wins easily. Look for the Packers to blitz early and often to confuse Zeier. Packers QB Brett Favre needs to remain calm. He can be impatient.

Matchup to watch: Packers defensive line against the Cleveland offensive line. The winner takes all.

Outlook: The Browns need a win badly. Despite being 4-6, they're still in contention for the playoffs. The Browns will play better than in Pittsburgh, but that may not be good enough to win.

Stellino's pick: Packers 31, Browns 10 -- Maybe Baltimore can give those Cleveland fans a seminar on how to steal a team so they can get one back.

Browns fact

The Browns have won 26 NFL games by shutout and have lost 13. In the AAFC, the Browns won eight games by shutout and were never shut out.

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