The Browns are off to face the Chargers on Sunday.
The Browns have a banged-up quarterback and they’re facing one of the best young flame-throwers in the game when the Browns take on the Chargers. The Chargers’ defense under normal circumstances would be hard to deal with but now the Browns have to worry about their quarterback even more than usual.
So what game plan do the Browns draw up so that Baker Mayfield takes as few hits as possible? Another key issue to worry about is figuring out a way to get after Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert like he stole your cookie at lunch?
It’s not an easy task because Herbert is well protected and the Browns quarterback is banged up like a used drum kit in a move.
These are the three things the Browns need to do to defeat the Chargers.
Keep Baker Mayfield clean – quick passes
Baker Mayfield‘s non-throwing shoulder toast at the moment. The quarterback is playing with a partially torn labrum which has to affect his throwing motion, causing his inaccuracy. It’s worse than just that, however. With any type of partially torn muscle, you run the risk of completely tearing it. Mayfield has got to be protected and kept clean in the pocket, or he runs the risk of being too hurt to play. Heck, he’s probably already too hurt to play but yet here he is. The offensive line has got to play well, which they haven’t. They’re tied for seventh so far in the league for most sacks given up. They need to do better and Kevin Stefanski has got to call plays to put Mayfield in a position to dump off quick passes to tight ends and receivers on slants.
Play man coverage
The Chargers have a good passing game. The Vikings had a good passing game. The Vikings were held to just seven points because of the Browns defense switching to more man coverage. A move that worked well for all those involved. The secondary never looked better and the Browns would be wise to do more of that against the Chargers. It also doesn’t hurt that the Chargers rarely ever test defenses vertically. Everything is in front of them and usually, quick stuff to get the ball out of Herbert’s hands. So this is a team that can be easily contained if the secondary does their jobs.
Blitz. All. Day.
Maybe not all day, but the Chargers are guaranteed to give up some sacks against the Browns, especially with Myles Garrett getting help from the secondary playing man coverage. If the Browns can blitz Jeremiah Owusu-Koramah or even Denzel Ward if you want to get weird, Cleveland should be able to force enough pressure to keep Justin Herbert running all game.