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Friday, September 16, 2011
Wake-up call: Time to unleash Peyton Hillis

By Jamison Hensley

Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:

The fact that they don't have to face Peyton Manning certainly helps the Cleveland Browns' chances of avoiding an 0-2 start for the fourth straight season. But as The Plain Dealer's Tony Grossi points out, the Browns can't forget there is a Peyton who is suiting up -- running back Peyton Hillis.

In the season-opening loss to the Bengals, the Browns handed the ball to Hillis 17 times for 57 yards. On Sunday, Cleveland will be facing an Indianapolis run defense whose ranking the past three years has been: 25th, 24th and 24th.

"I don't know if it's time, but to run the ball at people would be nice," Hillis told The Plain Dealer.

Hensley's slant: Other than playing catch-up in the second half, there is really no reason for Hillis to get less than 20 carries per game. He probably should get 25 carries against the Colts. The best way to negate pass-rushers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis is a strong running game. The Colts gave up 167 yards rushing to a Houston Texans team that was playing without NFL rushing champion Arian Foster.