1. Browns can lean on defense
Although the Jets were fielding a JV team, Cleveland’s defense showed how dominant it can be, and the unit is the biggest reason as to why the Browns can de-genius Rams’ wunderkind coach Sean McVay.
It starts up front with Myles Garrett, who leads the NFL with 5.0 sacks. Garrett will have a tougher matchup going up against LA left tackle Andrew Whitworth, but this is why the Browns heavily re-tooled the defensive line.
While fans are wondering where the heck Olivier Vernon is, trust me in knowing that he’s alive and well. As an edge rusher, Vernon is setting the edge, making it hard for quarterbacks to run away from Myles Garrett, who had five quarterback hits in addition to his 3.0 sacks on Monday night.
Sheldon Richardson and Larry Ogunjobi are alive well in the trenches, while the Browns have depth to flash, as well. Daniel Ekuale got in against the Jets and was credited with 1.5 tackles for a loss.
At linebacker, two veterans me, and a lot of people were ready to write off are thriving.
Christian Kirksey, too, is reminding us all as to why the Browns extended him a couple years back. Kirksey looks re-invigorated and has been a factor in stopping the run.
In the secondary, Greedy Williams is the Browns’ best corner, while free safety Damarious Randall is expected to return (concussion). The big question is Denzel Ward, who hasn’t covered or tackled well. We have no choice but to give Ward the benefit of the doubt. He was a Pro Bowler as a rookie and there’s just no reason to believe he can get on track moving forward.