CLEVELAND, Ohio – Scribbles in my pocket book because the 2-2 Browns play host to the 2-2 L.A. Chargers:
1. If the Chargers had Joey Bosa, I wouldn’t be writing this more or less tale. Or if that they had Keenan Allen. Or in the event that they had been averaging greater than than 2.7 yards in keeping with game operating the ball. Or if their protection wasn’t ranked thirtieth in permitting issues – 27 in keeping with game. Or in the event that they hadn’t misplaced 38-10 to Jacksonville … in Los Angeles!
2. But all of the ones issues are information. Just because it’s a reality the Chargers are averaging most effective 23 issues a game, the Browns are at 26.3. Hard to imagine Cleveland can be outscoring the Chargers after 4 video games this season. It issues to a couple issues for trainer Brandon Staley’s group.
3. That mentioned, the Chargers have Justin Herbert, who leads the NFL in passing yardage. He’s finishing 67% of his passes, with 9 TD passes in comparison to a couple of interceptions. Even with some very sore ribs, he’s nonetheless a big-time QB.
4. Coach Kevin Stefanski on Herbert: “They also have a quarterback who does a nice job of getting the ball out of his hands … at a hint of trouble, he is going to get rid of the ball, and he is not going to take a sack.”
5. Which brings me to Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods. If Woods goes to play cushy zone protection, Herbert will embarrass the Browns. Remember how Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger would play a snappy pace, shifting the ball all over the place the sphere? Yes, he may just throw lengthy. But he chewed up defenses with quick and medium passes. Herbert is similar method.
6. Let’s see if Woods will accept as true with his defensive backs to play tight man-to-man protection. Yes, there’s a possibility of giving up some lengthy positive aspects. But ultimate yr they misplaced 47-42 to the Chargers. Twice, they left celebrity receiver Mike Williams vast open – TD catches of 72 and 42 yards. Williams used to be in L.A., the nearest Cleveland defender seemed to be in Parma. Overall, 3 primary blown coverages, 26 issues allowed within the fourth quarter.
7. Woods on ultimate yr’s game: “I thought we played really well (in the first half) … In the second half, it was a wild, wild game. I don’t want it to be that way. I hope it’s not that way. You have to play for 60 minutes.”
8. Browns protection John Johnson III used to be proper when he mentioned at his press convention the Browns will “get torched if they aren’t locked in” on protection. Pay consideration to the fourth quarter. In 4 video games this season, the Browns have allowed 17-17-3-13 issues within the fourth quarter.
9. I talked to an NFL government who gave me the comparability of Herbert to Roethlisberger in relation to briefly eliminating the ball. The government mentioned the Browns need to are aware of it’s laborious to sack Herbert, who has taken most effective 4 sacks in 4 video games. They need to inform their cross rushers to stay their hands up. They can deflect passes.
10. According to Pro Football Focus, Herbert has had 4 passes batted down this season. That’s above reasonable. Cleveland’s Jacoby Brissett has had two. Former Brown Baker Mayfield is off to a coarse get started in Carolina. He leads NFL with 9 passes batted down. He’s finishing most effective 55% of his passes with 4 TDs and three interceptions. He’s ranked thirtieth out of 33 beginning QBs through ESPN.
11. Why do I think the Browns can win? Part of it’s the Charger protection. It’s ranked thirtieth within the NFL, permitting 27 issues a game. In its ultimate 3 video games, it has allowed a run for a minimum of 50 yards. The Chargers are permitting 5.6 yards in keeping with rush this season. Can you are saying Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt?
12. Yes, the Chargers have Derwin James Jr., a very good defensive again “who is a linebacker type,” in step with Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt. “He is a guy where we have to know where he is at all times.” The Chargers even have Khalil Mack, an edge rusher with 5 sacks. He’s now not fairly as much as his outdated Defensive Player of the Year requirements from 2016. He is a six-time Pro Bowl variety and can be a pressure. But the Charger protection is similar to Cleveland’s – the portions glance significantly better than the entire. Something is off with those guys – as with each groups.
13. The longer I write about this game, the fewer I really feel assured in my authentic thought the Browns will have to win. I surprise how Amari Cooper can have most effective one catch for 9 yards in ultimate week’s loss to Atlanta. This got here after back-to-back 100-yard receiving video games. Jacoby Brissett most effective threw to him 4 occasions. It used to be ordinary, and can’t occur once more. It’s now not as though Atlanta has a really perfect protection and used to be made up our minds to repeatedly double group Cooper. The Browns simply didn’t make some degree of having him the ball.
14. Remember that fourth-and-3 close to the function line within the first quarter in opposition to Atlanta? It ended in a peculiar play with Brissett rolling out to his proper after which heaving the ball out of the tip zone. Van Pelt admitted: “They gave us an un-scouted look we hadn’t seen before.” I heard Atlanta most often blitzed five-to-seven avid gamers close to the function line. Instead, they dropped 8 into protection, complicated Brissett.
15. OK, my prediction: Browns 31, Chargers 29. My prediction report is 2-2 this season.
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