The Browns Face the 49ers – A Winnable Game
This will likely be the last realistic contest where the Browns will have a good chance to win. That said, it will still not come easy – all three phases of the team must excel in order to end this miserable losing streak. My faith continues to wane for this organization; however a victory is still possible. The Browns must control a few things – mainly the five below.
#1 – Understand your Opponent
This refers to Blaine Gabbert – a first round bust who is looking to revive his career. In a victory last week, he still only threw for 196 yards (in overtime) and was sacked four times. This will be the worst signal caller the Browns will face the rest of the 2015 season, and the Browns must take advantage of this situation. I’d like the think that the defense can force some turnovers – but that is provided the unit actually makes some plays.
#2 – Shut Down their Key Athletes
Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin is a pair of dynamic wide outs for the 49ers, given an opportunity for big plays and they will demolish the orange and brown. I would like to think that the Browns can hold their own and limit these guys, but it will likely be a result of the pass rush as opposed to the secondary. Maybe K’Waun Williams or Charles Gaines can step up – exceptional secondary play is sorely needed for this team.
#3 – Don’t Allow an Opportunity
Last week, the 49ers returned an interception for a touchdown against the Bears. If this occurs for the Cleveland Browns’ offense, then the odds of winning are minute. The team is not good enough to give away touchdowns to the visiting team. I expect the coaching staff to stress the importance of protecting the football; therefore if the Browns lose this game, it will not be because the signal caller allowed them to falter.
#4 – Try Something New on Offense
The Browns can’t run the ball or move it via the pass (especially with all the injuries) on a consistent basis. They have got to determine what makes this unit successful and get as much juice from the squeeze as possible. I don’t know what it is going to take – but hopefully the coaching staff does. Use the run to open up the passing attack? Put in different personnel and/or try new plays? Something has got to give.
#5 – Play with Attitude
This is going to be a difficult one, especially seeing how the effort that the Browns put forward last game. No guys played with anger and were upset when falling behind. I don’t know if this is something internal with the players or if the coaching staff is not instilling tenacity – but the soft mentality is extremely disappointing. The athletes must fight their behinds off and take defeats personally – that will hopefully give them the edge to overcome adversity.
Conclusion: I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen in this contest. I would like to think that the Browns can and will win this contest – but they are playing so miserably right now. Surprisingly, I believe they can make one more play and grab a victory at First Energy Stadium.