MINNEAPOLIS - Week three of the NFL season has the Cleveland Browns on the road for a second straight week. This Sunday the Browns have an intra conference matchup with the Minnesota Vikings from the NFC North.
Both teams are in search for their first win of the 2013 season. The Browns are coming off a 14-6 loss to the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens 14-6 in Baltimore. The Vikings are coming off a 31-30 last second loss to the Chicago Bears at Solider Field in Chicago.
The Browns enter Sunday's matchup in a state of flux. They will start their third string quarterback Brian Hoyer, the former St. Ignatius Wildcat for Brandon Weeden who suffered a thumb injury in last Sunday's loss to the Ravens. It will also be interesting to see how the Browns will play coming off the surprising trade of 2012 number three overall pick Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2014 first round pick on Wednesday.
Willis McGahee who was just signed on Thursday will replace Richardson in the backfield. Wide receiver Josh Gordon will make his regular season debut after serving a two game suspension. He and Davone Bess will start at receiver on Sunday. Greg Little was removed from the starting lineup because of dropped passes last win ion the loss to the Ravens.
Head coach Rob Chudzinski hopes the changes will jumpstart an offseason that has only found the end zone once in the first two games of the season. Chud is also in search of his first win as an NFL head coach.
The Browns defense will face it's toughest test so far this season. The Browns enter the Vikings game as one of the best run defenses this season, but will have a challenge in trying to contain the reigning NFL MVP Adrian Peterson. Peterson enters the game fourth in the league in rushing with 193 yards and two touchdowns. The last time these two teams met to open the 2009 season, Peterson rushed for 180-yards.
The Browns offensive line will also have a difficult challenge on Sunday trying to stop one of the leagues pass rushers in all-pro defensive end Jared Allen. Both starting tackles Joe Thomas and Mitchell Schwartz will see plenty of Allen as he switches between left and right defensive end in the Vikings defensive scheme.
The Browns look to end a four game losing streak to the Vikings and are just 3-10 in the franchises history against Minnesota.