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Keys to Victory: What we're watching against the Jaguars


  1. After posting the best game of his young career, rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer will try and build upon that performance against the league's best defense. Kizer, who combined for 289 yards and two touchdowns in Detroit last weekend, helped Cleveland go toe-to-toe with the Lions for most of the game.

"He's a young player. A young player that's working at this and trying to get better, but I saw a better version of him today," coach Hue Jackson said afterward. "Is it perfect? No. Do we have things we need to continue to work on and fix? Yeah, but I see a guy who is starting to get it and that's huge. That's huge."

Now, Kizer will face a Jaguars team that leads the NFL with 35 sacks in nine games. "It's professional football," Kizer said. "You have to expect that every defense you play against is going to be stout. Once again, it's on us to make sure that we are executing our duties and are learning from the guys who have not had a lot of success in the past against them."

  1. Corey Coleman is set to return to the field after missing the past nine weeks because of a broken hand. Coleman, the team's 2016 first-round NFL Draft pick, is expected to give the Browns offense a boost, but Jackson stressed they can't expect him to do everything. "I don't want anyone to think that Corey is back so here comes the savior of the team," he said, "but here comes back one of our better players that we have not had in a while. We have to get the chemistry back, get to playing and see where he is, but I expect good things from Corey this weekend." Coleman, who has six catches for 62 yards and a touchdown in two games, hasn't played since Sept. 17.
  1. Jackson stressed the Browns don't need any extra motivation after Jaguars and former Cleveland safety Tashaun Gipson's critical comments. "We're an 0-9 football team, so I don't think we are looking for anything," Jackson said. "The opportunity to play is motivation enough for this football team. We want to win. That's what it is all about."

To be certain, Jackson addressed what Gipson — who played for the Browns from 2012-15 — said internally. "Anytime anybody says something about the organization and the football team, you want your people to be aware, but we've earned this," he said. "So people are going to say things. You guys say things. People say things all the time. We get it. It isn't going to change until we change it. The only way you change it is you start winning."

  1. The Browns hope to lean on their run game this weekend and shut down Jacksonville's operation on the other side of the ball. After rushing for a season-high 201 yards last week, Jackson stressed the group must build upon that performance against a Jaguars secondary that leads the league in passing yards allowed per game.

On the flip side, Cleveland will face the NFL's best rushing offense and rookie Leonard Fournette, who has 629 yards and six touchdowns on 147 carries. "He runs hard. He never dies easy," Browns run game coordinator Kirby Wilson said. "He thinks every run is a home run." Fournette, who is expected to play despite an ankle injury, was the fourth-overall pick in the NFL Draft last spring.

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