5 reasons Cleveland Browns beat LA Chargers, becoming AFC North contenders

Cleveland Browns Trevon Coley (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns Trevon Coley (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns E.J. Gaines (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Browns’ secondary

Joe Flacco was supposed to roll over the Browns’ secondary with what many consider to be the best receiving corps he’s ever had.

It didn’t happen, because the Browns’ secondary balled out during the Week 5 win.

Except for total defensive letdown against the Raiders in Week 4, the Browns’ defense and secondary in particular, has stood up well against some of the league’s top quarterback-receiver combinations.

They’re going to have to continue to play well to shut someone like Rivers down. The veteran is probably going to throw for 300 yards–it’s what he does. The challenge for the Browns’ secondary is limiting his damage.

This Browns ‘team is certainly capable of making things difficult for Rivers and his receiving corp of Keenan Allen, Mike Wiliams and Travis Benjamin.

Ward is tied for the league-lead in interceptions, while E.J. Gaines was stellar starting in place of an injured Terrance Mitchell.

Strong safety Jabrill Peppers also played like the first-round pick many of us hope he’ll be, while Damarious Randall, who didn’t have a great game against the Ravens, still grades out as the 11th best safety in the game, per PFF.

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This is a league that favors offense, so quarterback and receivers are going to make plays. Limiting those big plays, as the Browns did against the Steelers and Saints in Weeks 1 and 2 will be the difference.