The (6-8) Cleveland Browns matchup with the (5-9) New Orleans Saints in week 15 of the NFL season.
The Browns enter this matchup coming off a win against the Baltimore Ravens.
Who will prevail?
Let’s take a look at our writer’s bold predictions for this matchup.
Writer: Wendi Oliveros
The Cleveland Browns are looking to keep their very slim playoff hopes alive with a win over the New Orleans Saints on Christmas Eve.
The weather is going to be nasty with all of the elements thrown in for good measure: wind, rain, snow, and frigid temperatures.
This favors the Browns who are more used to it than the Saints whose home games are in a dome.
The running games of both teams will be on display, and even if Nick Chubb cannot play, Kareem Hunt, D’Ernest Johnson, and Jerome Ford can carry the load.
Taking care of the ball will be the key so turnovers simply cannot happen.
Cade York will be called upon to kick in the elements, and the Browns must get a couple of successful kicks from him.
A win means the Browns will give an early Christmas present to the diehard fans surviving the elements in FirstEnergy Stadium.
— Salamander the Frank (@FSinOH) December 21, 2022
It won’t be pretty, but it will be a win which is all that matters.
My Prediction: Browns 14, Saints 10
Writer: Ben Donahue
The 6-8 Cleveland Browns are on a bit of a roll having won three of their past four games.
Last weekend’s victory against Baltimore was Cleveland’s best showing on defense.
Of course, the team played against quarterback Tyler Huntley, but the D only allowed three points.
Not too shabby.
This Saturday, Cleveland faces the New Orleans Saints, owners of a 5-9 record.
One week after facing Huntley, the Browns will defend against former Bengal Andy Dalton.
The “Red Rifle” has passed for 2,403 yards, 17 touchdowns, and seven interceptions this year in 11 starts.
Last week against Atlanta, Dalton passed for just 151 yards, but also connected on two touchdowns in the Saints’ 21-18 win.
The Browns’ defensive line should be licking its chops as Dalton’s slow legs have cost him 18 sacks in 2022.
The Browns D might also see jack-of-all-trades Taysom Hill, who came off the bench against the Falcons for two completions and a touchdown pass himself.
Hill is a wildcard that Cleveland cannot sleep on.
Cleveland’s secondary won’t have to stop former Ohio State star Chris Olave or former Brown Jarvis Landry.
Both receivers are out for Saturday’s game.
Essentially, the Browns need to slow Alvin Kamara and not give up big plays from Dalton.
On offense, Cleveland needs to get Deshaun Watson back on his ‘A’ game.
Last weekend’s showing was a little better than the two previous games, but many of his passes were basically long handoffs.
Thankfully, New Orleans’ secondary has a 101.6 completion rate against opposing receivers.
Great news for Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones.
The Saints’ defense also gives up huge chunks of yardage to running backs.
Last week, Tyler Allgeier of the Falcons ran for 139 yards and a score against New Orleans.
Allgeier is no Nick Chubb or even Kareem Hunt.
My Prediction: Browns 28, Saints 17
Writer: Pat Opperman
OK… so my prediction of a Deshaun Watson breakout in Week 15 fizzled.
But at least we got the win and Watson appears to have advanced from the rust-shaking stage to getting-to-know-his-receivers.
It’s only a matter of time before Watson throws a couple of deep touchdowns and has his first big Browns game.
Unfortunately, it won’t be this week.
Frigid temperatures, strong wind, and maybe a little snow here and there await the former Texan.
And while I don’t think he is going to melt down like some of his critics believe, I don’t think there will be many deep passes.
New Orleans comes in from a southern domed stadium, but their quarterback is familiar with Ohio cold.
Andy Dalton gets the start again this week and the former Bengal quarterback knows how to keep his arm warm.
But he is still Andy Dalton, so I don’t expect him to do much more than any average quarterback in strong wind.
And that’s not even mentioning the Browns’ rejuvenated defense which improved more than the offense since Watson’s arrival.
No… this is going to be another low-scoring affair, probably with turnovers and miscues.
And Watson emerges 3-1.
My Prediction: Browns 16, Saints 10
If the Cleveland Browns were in the NFC South they’d be in first place in the division.
The Browns will take a member of that lowly division on Saturday when they welcome in the New Orleans Saints.
At 5-9, New Orleans is still somehow in the thick of their divisional race.
Saints quarterback Andy Dalton, someone Cleveland is very familiar with, is what he is at this point.
His receivers helped him big time last week by hauling in three touchdowns in a win over Atlanta.
Defensively, the Saints are vulnerable against the run with a 23rd-ranked rush defense.
Nick Chubb returned to practice on Thursday along with Wyatt Teller and, shockingly, Ethan Pocic (remember him?).
If they’re all set for Saturday, look for the Browns to attack on the ground early and often.
My Prediction: Browns 17, Saints 13