The Cleveland Browns host the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday in Cleveland.
The Cleveland Browns have one of their toughest tasks of the season as they host the 2-2 Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers are trending as a middle-of-the-road team so far through 2022, as PFF has them ranked tied for 16th overall. They also have them ranked 17th on offense, they’re 15th defensively, and 16th on special teams.
This team has faced some of the best teams in the NFL with the Chiefs and Jaguars (huh, go figure) while beating up on the Raiders and Texans to start the season. They lost to the better teams and beat the worse teams. So who are the Chargers? They won’t find out on Sunday, but the Browns could. If the Browns lose to the Chargers, it’s fair to say the team is no better than the Raiders, yet a win may restore fate in the season.
The Chargers are inconsistent and playing without Joey Bosa, so the Browns have a shot to pull the upset off, but to just that, they’ll have to rely on these three things.
Three reasons the Cleveland Browns will defeat the Los Angeles Chargers
Myles Garrett creates a pass rush
The Browns’ defense is gutter trash at this point and even with Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney back eventually, the Browns’ run defense will still be trash. The thing Garrett, at least, can do is get after the quarterback. Garrett isn’t a difference-maker against the run but against the pass, he’s a legitimate threat. Without Garrett, the Browns have no one who can get to the quarterback, with him they have a shot to get to Justin Herbert. It’s no impossible for them to win without him but it won’t be easy either.
Nick Chubb carries the offense
Jacoby Brissett is playing his first “good” defense of the year with the Los Angeles Chargers. He’s struggled against bad defenses this year, and he’ll likely look less than ideal this week as well. Relying on Nick Chubb, who is tearing up opposing defenses is the way to go. The Chargers, are not good against the run. While they currently ranked 7th in the league for fewest rushing yards given up, they also rank 2nd in most yards given up per attempt (5.4). This may be due to a handful of big plays throwing off the averages for the year, but we’ll find out on Sunday if the Chargers are actually good or bad against Chubb and the Browns. If the Chargers take away Chubb, then the Browns will get blown out.
The special teams plays perfect
The most minor issues cause the Browns to lose games. Special teams are among those minor issues. Dropped punt returns, taking the ball out of the endzone, and getting tackled behind the 20, all sorts of silly mistakes. The Browns are going to need to play near perfect on offense and defense to win, they can’t allow silly mistakes from the special teams to cost them.