1. The Browns need to establish their running game early, meaning Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty should be involved in the first quarter. A steady ground attack will help keep the Dolphins’ pass rush at bay and give Browns quarterback Colt McCoy time to find his targets. The Dolphins’ defense is ranked 30th against the pass, 22nd against the run and 32nd overall.
2. The Browns’ secondary must shut down the connection between Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne and wide receiver Brandon Marshall. In Week 1, Marshall had seven catches for 139 yards against the New England Patriots. In Week 2, he had six receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown against the Houston Texans.
3. Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron must have his men ready for Dolphins running backs Reggie Bush and rookie Daniel Thomas. In his NFL debut last week, Thomas had 18 carries for 107 yards (5.9 average). An appearance by the Wildcat offense is not out of the question.
4. Whoever plays right tackle on the Browns’ offensive line — Artis Hicks and Oniel Cousins have been rotating since the season started — must try to contain outside linebacker Cameron Wake, who had 14 sacks last season, including 1.5 against the Browns. Wake has had a sack in each of the first two games this season.
5. The Browns committed three penalties last week compared with 11 penalties in the season opener. The offense converted 50 percent (8-of-16) of its third downs last week compared with 27 percent (4-of-15) in Week 1. So coach Pat Shurmur’s players must focus on creating a positive trend and avoid falling into their old, sloppy habits.