Five Ways to Beat the Chargers – Cleveland Browns Game #4
Coming off another dreadful, pathetic performance last week – the Cleveland Browns now have to travel cross-country to San Diego. Both Las Vegas and national pundits are giving the road team little chance for an upset, and deservedly so. In addition to the five items listed below, the Browns pretty much have to play mistake-free football. Unfortunately that is something I am not confident they are able to achieve. However, let’s see what could lead to a win for the orange and brown.
1 – Have the Defense Re-watch the Titans’ Game
Apparently it is difficult to get to opposing quarterbacks for this front seven. For whatever reason, the group was able to generate seven sacks and a few additional hits on the signal caller in week two. Jim O’Neil has got to bottle that up attempt to recreate this on a weekly basis. I am extremely disappointed thus far by this part of the Browns; hopefully they can turn it around and make Phillip Rivers uncomfortable in the pocket on Sunday.
2 – Don’t Fall Behind Early
Last game should have been an glaring indication that the offense is not equipped to score in bunches, even when facing a prevent defense. The slow, plodding unit cannot score quick enough to put pressure on opponents. In a perfect world the orange and brown would grab an early lead and maintain this all contest long – however I fear the
home team will have something different in mind in San Diego.
3 – Make Some (Big) Plays
I know the offense does not have many playmakers (outside of Travis Benjamin on fade routes), but the Browns still have viable athletes on their defense. The interceptions and returns that we saw from Joe Haden and Tashaun Gipson last season have not been prevalent up to this point. The team needs to see similar action in games, especially if they want to turn the tides (and win some games). I could actually see this happening, but the team would also have to cash in on the offensive side of the ball.
4 – Block out the Noise
It’s (already) reared its ugly head from this fan base and media alike – turnover talk. “Fire this guy” and “bench that player” are a few of the common phrases that are circulating northeast Ohio. Mike Pettine and his staff must do their best to not worry what others are saying about their club and to go out there and play their best. The easiest way to quiet doubters is the win football games. This has not been the case so far in 2015; perhaps that can change this week.
5 – Secondary Must be Primary
This is somewhat an extension of point number three, but the poor play of the secondary (in the first three weeks) cannot be magnified enough. All sorts of receivers have had their way against the Cleveland Browns and in a passing league; this cannot happen to you if you expect to win. Tramon Williams is the only guy in the secondary whom I have confidence in. I do not know what it will take for others to step up their game and replicate the veteran’s – but they better find a way quickly.
Conclusion: The game plan for the Cleveland Browns should be relatively simple. Executing this is another thing, however. I believe this team can come out, make plays, and actually keep pace with the Chargers for most of the contest. However, I envision Rivers will pull out a last minute score and make for a long flight back to Ohio.