The Cleveland Browns have an uphill battle against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
The Los Angeles Chargers are going to be the Cleveland Browns’ toughest test to date through the 2022 NFL Season. The Browns are 2-2, the same as the Chargers, but a late-game miss by the refs in Week 1 cost the Panthers a win. Had it not been for a blown call, where the refs didn’t penalize Jacoby Brissett for intentionally grounding the ball (which he did), the Browns would be 1-3 and among the worst teams in the NFL.
The defense is awful, and there are no two ways about it. The secondary is in shambles, the best defensive players are shells of themselves, the linebacking corp has fallen off, Andrew Berry’s draft picks haven’t matured as expected and that’s mostly seen in the defensive front.
This is a team ripe for the picking and the Chargers really are going to be able to pick them apart all game, unless something drastic changes.
Three reasons the Cleveland Browns won’t defeat the Los Angeles Chargers
Jacoby Brissett can’t beat Justin Herbert in a shootout
Jacoby Brissett is a very conservative player. He won’t cost you many games, as he doesn’t take a lot of chances. The Browns, however, can’t play conservatively against the Chargers. The Browns and Chargers had a shootout last year, and the only reason the Browns were able to hang in there was that they had a quarterback who could succeed in taking risks. That’s not Brissett’s game. Give him a lead, and he’ll nurse it. Put him 10 points down and he’ll pooch it.
The Chargers will feast on the Browns’ defense
The Browns’ defense is bad. This isn’t unexpected, they were bad last year despite what the stats will tell you and made zero improvements to the unit. The Browns were 9th in most touchdowns allowed, and that issue is back. The team didn’t give opposing teams a lot of opportunities to score, due to their dink-and-dunk offense that chewed up the clock, but they gave up points 37.4% of the time, ranked 14th most in the NFL. They lost their best safety, M.J. Stewart in free agency, as well as a few other veterans on the defensive line, while not replacing them with stable, dependable players. The regression of Denzel Ward and the loss of Anthony Walker has also plagued the defense. Especially Ward’s play, even when he has a good game, he commits numerous penalties. The riff with him and Grant Delpit doesn’t seem over, and the secondary is as suspect as ever.
The Browns have been more lucky than good to be at .500
The Browns have not played well, nor have they been coached well. Getting a Pittsburgh team that is down T.J. Watt? Lucky. Getting a bogus call, and a completely missed call against Carolina? Lucky. Playing teams, who literally don’t know how to capitalize on your weaknesses? Stupidly lucky. The Browns have to worry about what the Los Angeles Chargers can do because they are a well-built team. They do have the added advantage that their head coach, much like the Browns’ head coach, thinks he’s smarter than the room and puts his team in costly situations due to his hubris. If the Browns win on Sunday, it may very well be due to the Chargers’ head coach costing them the win.