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What to Watch For, Presented by Arby's

Posted Dec 12, 2012

Trent Richardson and the Browns play their final home game of the regular season against linebacker London Fletcher and the Washington Redskins.

The Cleveland Browns will host the Washington Redskins in their final home game of the regular season on Sunday.

The Browns come into the contest winners of three straight games and four of their last five at Cleveland Browns Stadium, while the Redskins are riding a four-game winning streak of their own. However, Washington is 2-4 away from FedEx Field this season, with wins at New Orleans, 40-32, in the season-opener, and Dallas, 38-31, on Thanksgiving Day.

The Redskins last played in Cleveland on Oct. 3, 2004, and the Browns earned a 17-13 win over Washington.

Then-Browns quarterback Jeff Garcia completed 14 of 21 attempts for 195 yards and tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end Aaron Shea. Running back Lee Suggs carried the ball 22 times, gained 82 yards, scored one touchdown, and had a long run of 25 yards.

Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell completed 17 of 32 passes for 192 yards. Although he connected with Laveranues Coles seven times for 122 yards, Washington did not find the end zone through the air.

Running back Clinton Portis had Washington’s lone touchdown and gained 58 yards on 20 rushes.

As the game unfolds, here are several things to keep an eye on:

Running back Trent Richardson. Through his first 13 games, Richardson has rushed for 869 yards and nine touchdowns on 247 carries. He also leads the team with 45 receptions for 348 yards. He has scored the second-most points (60) by a rookie in the NFL.

Richardson’s 1,217 yards of total offense and 869 yards rushing both rank third among first-year players, behind Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin (1,612, 1,234) and Washington’s Alfred Morris (1,270, 1,228). He is tied for second in the NFL in receptions by a rookie (45) and third with 47 first downs.

The 1,217 total yards rank first among rookies in Browns history.

With 100 yards rushing against the Redskins, Richardson would be the first Browns rookie ever to rush for 100 or more yards in four games during a single season. With 74 yards rushing, Richardson would pass Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jim Brown (942), for the most rushing yards by a Browns rookie. Browns Legend Kevin Mack rushed for 1,104 yards as a first-year player in 1985.

Richardson is one running score away from breaking Brown’s team record for the most rushing touchdowns by a Browns rookie. Brown rushed for nine scores in 1957. One overall score would allow Richardson to pass Brown and Eric Metcalf for the most total touchdowns by a Browns rookie (10).

With 131 yards rushing, Richardson would join quarterback Brandon Weeden as the first Browns rookies to rush for 1,000 yards and throw for 3,000 in the same season.

Wide receiver Josh Gordon. Gordon leads the Browns with 732 yards and five touchdown catches on his 42 receptions this season.

Gordon is tied for first among all NFL rookies with the five touchdown catches and leads the way with 732 yards receiving. Gordon is first with the most receptions of at least 20 yards (12) and fourth in receptions among all first-year NFL players. His 17.4-yards-per-reception average is fourth among all NFL players with at least 20 catches.

With a touchdown Sunday, Gordon would be the first Browns rookie to have six receiving touchdowns in a season since Andre’ Davis in 2002.

Quarterback Brandon Weeden. Weeden completed 17 of 30 attempts for 217 yards in the team’s 30-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday.

Two weeks ago, Weeden threw for a Browns rookie record of 364 yards in a win at Oakland and joined Derek Anderson, Bernie Kosar, Brian Sipe and Pro Football Hall of Famer, the late Otto Graham, as the only quarterbacks in team history to throw for 300 or more yards at least three times in a single season. Anderson (three in 2007) and Graham (three in 1950) each accomplished the feat once, while Kosar (three each in 1986 and 1987) reached the mark twice. Sipe tossed four 300-yard games in 1979, and again in 1983, and six in 1980.

If Weeden throws for 300 yards against the Redskins, he would tie Sipe as the only Browns quarterback to throw for 300 or more yards at least four times in a season.

Weeden, the team’s all-time leader in wins by a rookie quarterback, is two touchdowns away from tying Tim Couch for the most touchdowns by a Browns rookie in a single season. Couch tossed 15 touchdowns in 1999. He is also 180 yards shy of joining Couch and Anderson as the only Browns quarterbacks to pass for 3,000 yards in a season since 1999.

On the season, Weeden has completed 264 of 463 attempts for 3,037 yards with 13 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Weeden has four of the top five single-game passing yardage totals ever by a Browns rookie.

Weeden also has thrown the second and fifth-longest touchdowns by a Browns rookie quarterback. He has completed 71-yard and 62-yard touchdown passes to Gordon. Weeden ranks third among NFL rookies in passing yards, second in passing first downs (142), and second in completions of 20 or more yards (41).

Kicker Phil Dawson. Dawson joined the 300-field goal club with a 23-yarder against the Chiefs last week. He is 26 of 27 on field goal attempts this season after making all three kicks against Kansas City. He is 11 of 11 from 40 or more yards, including a five for five mark from 50-plus. Since the start of the 2011 season, Dawson has made a league-best 12 of 13 field goals from 50 or more yards.

Dawson has converted 302 of 359 career field goal attempts with the Browns and ranks second in team history with 1,256 points. His 84.1 field-goal percentage is first all-time in team history and the seventh-best total among those NFL kickers with at least 100 career field goals. He has the highest percentage among those kickers who have made at least 300 field goals.

Wide receiver Joshua Cribbs. The two-time Pro Bowler has 9,722 kickoff return yards, which stands sixth on the NFL’s all-time list. He is 67 yards away from passing Glyn Milburn (9,788) for fifth on the all-time list and 157 yards shy of being the sixth player in NFL history to gain 12,000 kickoff return yards.

Cribbs’ 11,843 combined kickoff and punt return yards rank sixth on the NFL’s career list.

His eight kickoffs for touchdowns are tied for an NFL record and he has added three more scores on punt returns. The combined 11 touchdowns are fifth all-time and with one more, Cribbs would equal Hall and Metcalf for third place. Cribbs is also 29 yards away from passing Dennis Northcutt’s mark for the most punt return yards (2,149) in franchise history.

Since the start of the 2011 season, Cribbs has nine returns of at least 40 yards. Each of those returns led to Browns scores -- five touchdowns and four field goals.

Defensive end Juqua Parker. Parker leads the Browns with five quarterback sacks this year and has had a solo sack in three of the last four games. As a team, the Browns’ 34 sacks are tied for seventh in the league.

In 13 games this year, the Browns have registered more sacks than in all of the 2011 season.

Browns offensive linemen Joe Thomas and Alex Mack. Thomas has started each of the 93 games he has played since the Browns selected him in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft and currently ranks sixth for most consecutive starts among active offensive linemen in the NFL. Mack has started 61 straight games for the Browns.

They are two of the four Browns, along with right tackle Mitchell Schwartz and right guard Shawn Lauvao, who have played every snap of the season.

Defensive back Sheldon Brown. The 11-year NFL veteran has played in 173 consecutive regular-season games, a mark that ranks fifth among all active defensive players. He has caught at least one interception in each of his 11 NFL seasons.

Brown has 26 career interceptions and is tied for the fourth-longest active streak of consecutive seasons with an interception. Green Bay’s Charles Woodson has had an interception in 15 straight seasons, while Denver’s Champ Bailey (14) and Cincinnati’s Nate Clements (12) rank ahead of Brown and Baltimore’s Ed Reed (11).

Brown’s 146 pass breakups since 2002 are third, trailing only Atlanta’s Asante Samuel (156) and Bailey (152).

Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson. The Browns’ defensive captain leads the team with 97 total tackles and 47 assisted stops. He has 50 solo tackles, second-most on the team, 3.5 sacks, two interceptions, five pass breakups and five forced fumbles. He has recovered two other fumbles and returned his first interception for a touchdown this season.

With three tackles, Jackson would reach the 100-tackle mark for the fifth time in his career.

Redskins linebacker London Fletcher. Fletcher has played in 237 consecutive games, which is tied for the longest active streak in the NFL. He is one interception away from matching a career high of four that he set in 2000 and tied in 2006.

Washington running back Alfred Morris. The rookie running back has rushed for at least 100 yards six times this season and would become the first Redskins player to have seven 100-yard games since Portis during the 2005 season. He is the first Redskins rookie since the NFL-AFL merger to have six 100-yard rushing games.

Morris is 35 yards away from moving into the top 10 of individual rushing seasons in team history. He is 72 yards shy of becoming the 10th player in Washington history to have a 1,300-yard rushing season. One rushing touchdown would tie Morris with Skip Hicks (1998) for the most rushing touchdowns by a Redskins rookie (eight).

Wide receiver Santana Moss. Moss has a team-leading seven touchdown catches this season. He has gained a Redskins-best 468 yards on 32 catches and is one score away from becoming the seventh Washington player to catch at least 45 touchdown passes.

With two touchdown catches, Moss would match his single-season personal best of nine, which he set back in 2005.

The Browns (5-8) come into Sunday’s game after a 30-7 win over the Chiefs at Cleveland Browns Stadium last Sunday afternoon. The Redskins enter the contest at 7-6 following a 31-28 overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens at home last weekend.

CONNECTIONS

Browns defensive back Dimitri Patterson was signed an undrafted free agent by the Redskins in Sept. 2005, and intercepted one pass in three games.

Joshua Cribbs is from Washington D.C. (Dunbar High School), while defensive backs Johnson Bademosi (Silver Springs/Gonzaga High School), Usama Young (Largo/Largo High School) and Joe Haden (Fort Washington/Friendly High School) and defensive tackle Phil Taylor (Clinton/Gwynn Park High School) are Maryland natives. Defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin was born in Fort Belvoir, Va.

D’Qwell Jackson played football at the University of Maryland.

Ray Rhodes, the Browns’ senior assistant to the defense was the Redskins’ defensive coordinator in 2000, while wide receivers coach Mike Wilson worked with Washington’s receivers in 2003 as part of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship Program.

London Fletcher (Cleveland/Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School), nose tackle Barry Cofield (Cleveland/Cleveland Heights High School), Fred Davis (Toledo/Rogers High School), offensive lineman Kory Lichtensteiger (Van Wert/Convoy Crestview High School) and practice squad fullback Eric Kettani (Mentor/Lake Catholic High School) have ties to Ohio.

Fletcher (John Carroll University), wide receiver Pierre Garcon (University of Mount Union), Lichtensteiger (Bowling Green State University) and defensive tackle Doug Worthington (The Ohio State University) went to college in Ohio.

Redskins defensive back Chase Minnifield is the son of Browns Legend Frank Minnifield.

Redskins linebackers coach Bob Slowik was the Browns’ defensive coordinator in 1999. Defensive line coach Jacob Burney held the same position with the Browns from 1994-95.

Washington tight ends coach Sean McVay played college football at Miami (Ohio) and assistant head coach/running backs coach Bobby Turner coached at Ohio State from 1989-90.

MEDIA

Fans can watch Sunday’s game at 1 p.m. ET on local FOX affiliate WJW-TV 8. Ron Pitts will provide the play-by-play, while former NFL coach Mike Martz will join him on the call.

The game is also available along the PNC Bank Browns Radio Network with Jim Donovan (play-by-play), Doug Dieken (color), and Jamir Howerton (sideline reporter).

What to Watch For is brought to you by Arby’s -- Arby’s Value Menu starting at one dollar will have you coming back for more without emptying your wallet.

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