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Bills vs. Browns: Bills Should Watch Out For Short Passes

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

Yesterday I told you in the article on Peyton Hillis that he was the Cleveland Browns' leading receiver with 53 receptions. Number two on that list with 50 receptions is tight end Benjamin Watson who leads the team with 574 receiving yards.

Watson was a Bills killer in his time with the New England Patriots. A year ago the big tight end caught six passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns in the season-opening loss on Monday Night Football. In two games in 2007 Watson caught six combined passes for sixty yards and two touchdown passes.

The leading wide receivers on the Browns this season are Chansi Stuckey and Mohamed Massaquoi. Stuckey has 33 reception for only 300 yards, and average of only 9.1 yards per reception. Massaquoi is the only receiver stretching the field for the Browns, averaging 13.5 YPR on his 27 catches this season boosted by his four-catch, 81-yard performance a week ago. Almost half (113) of Cleveland's 228 pass completions have been by the seven Browns players averaging ten yards or less a reception.

Just to put those YPR into context, two Buffalo receivers have higher numbers. Steve Johnson's average stands at 13.6 YPR with sixty receptions and Lee Evans is at 15.6 YPR after 37.

This Sunday the Bills must stop the running game and the short passing game if they are going to stop the Browns offense. Expect to see Donte Whitner down in the box frequently trying to defend those two areas. Put pressure on Jake Delhomme or Colt McCoy to stretch the field and they will throw interceptions. Allow them to dink and dunk all day and they will move the ball creating problems.

For a more in depth look at the Browns quarterback situation we once again to turn to Chris Pokorny from Dawgs By Nature.

"It is remarkable how all three Cleveland quarterbacks have suffered high ankle sprains this season. Eric Mangini said that Colt McCoy might return to practice later this week, but I imagine they won't put him back in until his ankle is back to 100%. That might not be until Week 15 or Week 16, which would be nice because Cleveland's last three games come against division rivals. I was impressed by McCoy's poise and ability to throw the ball on the run this year. When comparing him to Jimmy Clausen in Carolina, it's like night and day in terms of comfort.

"Until McCoy is ready, Jake Delhomme is slated to face the Bills. Delhomme's statistics look ugly, but he is 2-0 in his past two games and has been throwing the ball well when you don't factor in his interceptions. In other words, it's not like we have a Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn under center who can't complete a pass to save his life."