Cleveland Browns vs. San Diego Chargers: Game Preview

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Aug 29, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA;Cleveland Browns free safety

Tashaun Gipson

(39) works out prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Talented Browns Defense Needs To Earn Their Paychecks

One of the headlines that have really stuck with me this week is the fact that the Browns defense is the highest paid defense in the NFL.

I say this because it sure as hell has not looked like it on the field.

Through the first three games the Browns have given up 72 points (24 points/game). All three offenses Cleveland has faced have been very vanilla in comparison to this San Diego offense.

If the Browns defense play how they did against New York or Oakland, then the Browns will fall to 1-3 without a question.

The thing about the Browns defense is that there’s a reason why they’re the highest paid defense in football. They could very well be the reason why Cleveland gets this win on Sunday. To do that a few things need to happen.

One of which is that the pass rush has got to take advantage of the Chargers offensive line on Sunday.

The Chargers have given up 10 sacks so far through their first three games, while the Browns have gained seven sacks. Unfortunately all seven sacks were against Tennessee.

Cleveland could not get sacks on either New York or Oakland. It is pretty common knowledge that you will struggle on pass defense if you cannot rush the passer. That will be a huge key in this game Sunday. If the Browns can get hands on Rivers then that will help out the defense immensely.

Another thing that has been a problem for about 20 straight games now is stopping the opposing team’s running game. Team’s playing against the Browns have rushed for a total of 475 yards so far this season.

Now I didn’t get to “see” it for myself (had to stream the radio feed here in Columbus and watch the Bengals play Baltimore instead) but coach Pettine attributed the lack of rushing defense success against Oakland to missed tackles. A lot of it has been attributed to shedding blocks and filing the right lanes as well.

Next: My Prediction