The Indianapolis Colts (8-4) will go to Ohio and pay a visit to the Cleveland Browns (7-5) on Dec. 7 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. Fans can watch online the Colts vs. Browns game via live stream - free for subscribers - below.
In preparation for the matchup against the Colts, the Browns have decided to put Brian Hoyer on the field over Johnny Manizel in light of what happened last week against the Buffalo Bills, a game that they lost 26-10. According to the Associated Press, Hoyer posted a 90.4 passer rating with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 58.5 percent of his passes.
"It wasn't perfect and he's made his share of mistakes, but he's gotten the lion's share of reps in practice and virtually all of them in games and has us in the thick of a playoff hunt," Browns coach Mike Pettine said. "That, to me, was probably the biggest determining factor."
Pettine added that although Manizel has promise on the field, Hoyer won't be on a "short leash" either.
The Associated Press noted that Manizel went 5 for 8 for 63 years and capped an 80-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. Manizel respects his coach's decision to keep him on the bench on Sunday's game.
"Obviously, that's a decision that's made by Coach Pettine," Manizel said. "And this week his answer was, 'No' so moving forward whatever transpires, maybe next time the answer will be, 'Yes.'"
Greg Price of International Business Times reports that the game between the Browns and Colts will be a critical matchup. Pettine admitted that the decision to go with Hoyer over Manizel was not an easy one, considering what happened last week against the Bills.
"It was close and it was difficult because of how (Manizel) played, but we arrived at the decision to stay with Brian," Pettine said. "We saw flashes of what he was capable of. The fumble was regrettable, but the first drive was good."
As for the Colts, they have an impressive offensive performance. In their 49-27 win over the Washington Redskins, Indianapolis scored six touchdowns of 30-plus yards, a feat not seen since the 1966 Redskins according to Associated Press.
"They're so hard (to get), you don't see it. Teams are too good and guys always seem to be in the right spot, but obviously fans love it, we love it, everybody loves it," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said of the long scoring plays. "I think going into the game we were No. 1 in the National Football League in explosive plays, plays over 20 yards, and I'm sure we'll end up staying there after yesterday."
According to Price, the Colts are tied for fifth with Denver with 34 sacks on the year, with linebacker Erik Walden leading the team with five sacks. Even though the Colts lost Robert Mathis to an injury earlier this season, Indianapolis will focus its attack on a solid Browns offensive line that has only allowed 20 sacks all season.
Wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who has 54 catches for 636 yards and two touchdowns according to Associated Press, thinks that Donte Moncrief, along with Coby Fleener and Daniel Herron, will be part of the Colts' winning strategy against the Browns.
"Once you throw the ball up for a big play, you want to be that guy," Wayne said. "We had a lot of guys that were able to capitalize on that (Sunday). Moncrief today showed what he is capable of. We got a lot of guys. We are pretty loaded."
Sunday's game will air on Fox at 1 p.m. ET. Online viewers can stream the game live through Fox Sports Go or catch it on demand through NFL Game Rewind with a subscription.