Conventional logic would say that this is as good a week as any to face the Green Bay Packers.
The 3-2 Packers are a beat up lot. Linebacker Clay Matthews and Nick Perry won't play, and the offense will be without receivers Randall Cobb and James Jones.
Taking that into account, it's best to toss logic out the window. To ever assume the Browns have a good chance of beating the Packers flies into the face of a history that indicates the opposite usually plays out.
The Packers have a 12-7 advantage in a series that dates back to Sept. 27 of 1953 when the Browns prevailed 27-0. The Browns won the next two encounters during their dominant run of the 1950s 41-10 in 1955 and 24-7 in 1956 but the Packers won the next five games, including a 23-12 win in the 1965 NFL Championship Game.
Few modern-day players know much about history, nor do they seem to care about it. Most of the Browns players know of Jim Brown because he's often around as a member of the front office.
History, to those players, won't play a factor in Sunday's meeting between the teams at Lambeau Field. The play of the quarterbacks, however, will factor in the decision. In that area the Packers have a decided advantage with Aaron Rodgers behind center.
"Aaron Rodgers is a player," Browns cornerback Joe Haden said. "They have so much talent on their offense that he's going to be able to get the ball to his receivers."
Even without Cobb and Jones, the Packers present an offensive threat to concern the Browns. Receiver Jordy Nelson has thrived in the offense, combining precise route running with strength. Rodgers will also rely heavily on tight end Jermichael Finley. The ground game is ranked fifth in the NFL at 140.8 yards a game.
Still, it's Rodgers' right arm that makes the offense click as well as any in the NFL. A perennial Pro Bowl participant, Rodgers has completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 1,646 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Like all great quarterbacks, Rodgers has the ability to elevate the play of those around him. Nelson probably wouldn't be the player he is today without a quarterback that can deliver him the ball when and where it's supposed to arrive.
"That's what the good quarterbacks do," Haden said. "No matter who's in those positions, they get the ball to them and spread it out. He makes them look good."
Green Bay's offense might not require its best performance of the season to get a win. The Browns have struggled to produce points when Brandon Weeden is at quarterback. The only indication that Weeden might play well is that he's facing a pass defense that's ranked 28th in the league.
Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton paid Rodgers the ultimate compliment.
"When he gets on the field it's self-evident," Horton said. "He has great feet, decision-making, ability to throw on the run, checking to the right play. He's probably that guy right now that's the best quarterback in the prime of his career."
ON THE MEND: Quarterback Brian Hoyer underwent successful surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee Friday. The surgery was performed by team physicians Mark Schickendantz and Lutul Farrow at the Cleveland Clinic.
Because there was little damage around the ligament, Hoyer is expected to be ready by training camp of next year.