Winning the takeaway battle
Cleveland leads the NFL with 15 takeaways and lead the NFL in turnover differential (+8).
Because of this stat, the Browns should at least have four wins right now, that is, if they had a successful kicking game early on this season.
The Chargers turn the ball over about once per game, but really haven’t played–perhaps with the exception of the Rams–a really good defense.
Opponents this season have included the Chiefs, Bills and Raiders. Not teams synonymous with “great defense.”
Cleveland doesn’t need six turnovers like they did against the Steelers, in this one. Instead, one or two takeaways might be all that’s needed to get this contest trending in Cleveland’s direction, especially considering they’re playing with home-field advantage.
As previously mentioned, the Chargers’ line is nothing special and Phillip Rivers isn’t exactly nimble. Perhaps the Browns could force a key fumble by hitting an unsuspecting Rivers in the pocket. It’s not out of the question.
And then there’s the secondary. Rivers checks down more than he used to, but he still slings it around plenty.
And Denzel Ward will likely be covering his top target, Keenan Allen. The rookie’s shown a knack for getting his hands on the ball and is tied for the NFL lead with three picks.