The Cleveland Browns will need a lot more from their wide receiving corps if the team is to beat the Chicago Bears in Week 3, especially with Jarvis Landry headed to the IR has he recovers from a knee injury suffered against the Texans.
Everyone is looking for Odell Beckham Jr. to step up as rumors swirl that the veteran will play his first game since injuring his knee against the Bengals on Oct. 7, 2020.
While Beckham will be needed, Rashard Higgins is probably needs to become the team’s most important receiver. That’s not to say Beckham can’t or won’t play a role if he plays, but just think of Higgins’ chemistry with Mayfield over the years.
It’s similar to how the quarterback leans on Landry–meaning Mayfield needs someone to get open and catch the ball, especially when the team needs to move the chains.
While Beckham and even Anthony Schwartz offer big-play potential, you can’t really say Mayfield can lean on OBJ to get open for a first down when the Browns really, really, really ned it–especially with Beckham easing his way back into the game action.
The same is true of Schwartz, who looked every big an inexperienced third-round pick in Week 2 after playing surprisingly well against the Chiefs.
Cleveland Browns: Higgins as a safety valve
The point is Mayfield needs hands he can count on and while Higgins may not be as gifted as Landry, the both yield similar results if you throw the ball.
Higgins has been relatively quiet throughout the first two weeks fo the season, but his track record speaks for itself. Mayfield threw ball his way 52 times in 2019 and Higgins caught 37–good for a 71 percent conversion rate. Landry was targeted more (101 times), but had a similar catch percentage, nabbing 72 of those throws.
If OBJ plays, Kevin Stefanski will find opportunities for him. The same is true of Schwartz, especially if Beckham doesn’t play.
But to make the offense flow, Higgins is going to be his safety valve if the receiving corps is going to rebound after last week’s dismal performance.