The Browns have a tough task on Sunday against the Vikings.
The Cleveland Browns have to travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings in Sunday’s contest. Week four’s matchup sees the 2-1 Browns hoping to stifle the 1-2 Vikings impressive offense. It should be a matchup of two of the best offensives of the early 2021 NFL season.
The Browns and Vikings both have problems on defense, however, and that will cause some issues to probably pop up. The Browns faced off with the Chiefs early in the season but they don’t seem to be the same high-powered unit they had been. They’ve also struggled against a bad Texans offense and couldn’t get out of their own way when taking on the Bears, despite the defense owning the Chicago club all day on defense.
The Vikings will be a big test for Cleveland, but what do the Browns need to do to walk away with the victory?
Three things the Browns need to do to defeat the Vikings
Get Baker Mayfield into a rhythm early
Baker Mayfield has been very needed in the first three games of the season. The Browns have been relying on him to start the games fast and set the tempo. Then, with the lead, the Browns turn the game over to the running backs. So, in order to execute the game plan, you have to have a lead. To get that lead Mayfield is going to need to get his rhythm going early. So work in some easy, manageable passes with high success rates so the defense can feel the pressure.
Call aggressive plays on defense
The Minnesota Vikings are not great on defense. Those days are done. They’re among the worst in the league on defense against the pass, 7th most in yards given up, and are among the worst teams in the NFL when defending against passing touchdowns. They’re currently 9th in most receiving touchdowns given up, and that isn’t getting any better any time soon.
Attack the corners
The Vikings’ safeties aren’t bad, especially the potential Hall of Famer Harrison Smith but right now their corners are getting exposed, and with the Browns’ receiving corp being a challenge to match up against, it would make sense to attack them all game. Of their corners, the tallest is 6-1, and pairing Harrison Bryant against one of them would be a wise move since going over the top isn’t something this offense is currently equipped for. Especially if the team isn’t on board with giving Anthony Schwartz more reps just yet. Making the corners play jump-ball may be a decent way to taking them out of their element.