What Can be Done for a Win? The Cleveland Browns
Another sad performance and a tough loss occurred for the Browns last week and it will be extremely tough to get back into the win column. They head west to play in St. Louis, a city that might not have an NFL team in the near future. Nonetheless, this matchup features a great challenge for Mike Pettine and his team. Let’s look into what the squad needs to do to earn a victory.
1 – Eliminate all Turnovers
A gigantically obvious statement, but Josh McCown’s costly pair of interceptions as well as a fumble lost were the reasons why they could not beat the Broncos. The third turnover might have wiped out a possible game-winning field goal; facing another great defense, the Browns’ quarterback cannot be so giving. I think he will improve this week, but I still fear the huge interception at a critical time.
2 – Focus on Gurley
I am holding out hope that the defense can actually stop an opposing rusher from having a great game – even if it is by accident. That said, the rookie will likely get at least 150 yards on the ground; but anything can still happen on this given Sunday. Getting a huge lead early will greatly help with the limiting of Gurley, as the Rams would be forced to throw many passes. Fast starts have not been the in the cards for the Cleveland Browns, however.
3 – Find a Way to Finish
In a close contest, one team will need to make a play to win – while the other is unable and loses as a result. The Browns have been the latter too many times to remember (since 1999); breaking though on Sunday would be a fine sight to see. Getting the interception, scoring that touchdown, or sealing the contest with a field goal – whatever it takes, the team has got to finally put it together. I don’t care which side of the ball does the trick; there must be an attitude that “we” can get it done when it matters most.
4 – Lean More on Turbin
This will only be his second game with the Browns, but Robert Turbin should be getting an increased workload in this matchup. Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell can pick up yards, but the duo excels more at being receivers as opposed to rushing between the tackles. I believe the larger Turbin can be the workhorse in getting those tough yards; the Rams’ defensive front is unforgiving but must be challenged.
5 – Be the Bully
Along the lines of the last point, the Browns have to be the more physical team on Sunday. The Rams will push back, but the visiting squad must be relentless in their attempt to be victorious at the point of attack – on both sides of the ball. Maybe Turbin’s play will magically make the offensive line better. Defensively, I do not know what it will take to be solid along the line. I hope Jim O’Neil does, but that does not seem to be the case so far this campaign. A breakthrough would be welcomed greatly by this fan.
Conclusion: I still have little faith in this team and am less than confident in them earning a victory. This matchup will more than likely come down to the final minutes once again, but (more often than not) the Browns’ opponent has been the one to do something great to win. I anticipate the Rams’ defense sealing this meeting with a big stop of the Browns.