On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns tackle the New England Patriots in Week 10. Below, we analyze a couple of benefits, disadvantages, or normal ideas in regards to the two groups earlier than attending to our predictions for the sport.
Battle of the Backup Running Backs
- Much has been made this week in regards to the Cleveland Browns being with out Nick Chubb, who has COVID-19. Kareem Hunt continues to be not prepared to return again from his calf harm, and rookie Demetric Felton additionally has COVID-19. What about John Kelly from the observe squad, who regarded good throughout the preseason? No, he additionally has COVID-19.
- This is fairly near the large receiver state of affairs the Browns confronted a yr in the past. However, I believe we’d all agree that it’s a lot simpler to plug in a operating again off the road than it’s to plug in a whole group of large receivers. And, thankfully for the Browns’ case, they do have one in all their operating backs accessible nonetheless: D’Ernest Johnson. Johnson was handled as a bellcow operating again a couple of weeks in the past towards the Broncos, and he got here by means of with a 22-carry, 146-yard effort.
- The slight concern has to do with who the backup operating again shall be to offer Johnson a breather. The Browns known as Brian Hill up from the observe squad. He was a fifth-round choose by the Falcons in 2017. I really feel like I all the time at the very least have heard of backup operating backs by identify within the NFL, however for some cause, I had by no means heard of Hill and was stunned to see that in three seasons with the Falcons, he totaled almost 1,000 yards dashing and averaged 4.7 YPC. In 2020, he additionally caught 25 passes for 199 yards, so he presents a risk as a receiver too. Johnny Stanton can also be being known as up and might be utilized in quick yardage conditions.
- What in regards to the Patriots’ operating again state of affairs? They are going through the identical problem as their starter, Damien Harris, has been dominated out with a concussion. Harris had 133 carries for 547 yards (4.1 YPC) and 7 touchdowns this season. The participant with the following most carries is rookie Rhamondre Stevenson, who has 35 carries for 136 yards (3.9 YPC) and 1 landing. Stevenson seems to have simply cleared the concussion protocol himself, however I don’t know if Bill Belichick will thrust him in because the lead ballcarrier. Veteran Brandon Bolden may see elevated motion on the bottom, though he has been the receiving again this yr.
Being on Guard Against New England
- The Browns’ win over the Bengals was nice final week. The entrance workplace simply re-committed to the crew’s two offensive guards, Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller, whereas transport Odell Beckham out of the door. And the protection has been taking part in very effectively.
- Statistically, the Browns rank third within the NFL in yards allowed, third in dashing yards allowed, ninth in passing yards allowed, third in sacks/go try, and fifth in variety of first downs allowed per sport. For pretty much as good as they’ve been, they actually aren’t getting plenty of credit score. The massive factor that had been missing was turnover era, and they lastly acquired that towards Joe Burrow and the Bengals final week. Mac Jones has had his fair proportion of turnovers, so the protection ought to proceed to take care of their aggressiveness.
- The Patriots, in the meantime, are at their finest with turnover generations on protection. Our Patriots’ affiliate famous that the protection performs very structurally sound, and that they combine issues up defensively by “showing blitz before backing out, faking or bringing overload pressure, moving between man and zone, and so forth.”
- New England’s 5 wins have included 4 victories over the Jets, Texans, Jets, and Panthers. I do know it’s not a crew’s fault who they play, however these are a few of the worst groups within the league. The factor the Browns should be on guard with, although, is that it’s allowed this Patriots crew to construct some momentum, get the protection right into a groove, and get extra priceless reps for Jones beneath heart. While I believe Cleveland has the a lot better roster proper now, self-discipline shall be key right here.
- It’ll be nice climate in Foxborough, with a sport time temperature of fifty levels and 9 miles per hour wind.
- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah returns this week. We’ll see what number of reps the teaching workers works him in for, however previous to his harm, he had turn out to be the crew’s high linebacker.
- Baker Mayfield and Myles Garrett have been each battling foot accidents this week, however are working by means of them.
- According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Browns are 2.5-point underdogs towards the Patriots on Sunday.
Here are predictions from a number of workers members at DBN.
Chris Pokorny: “I think the Patriots have been playing well this past month, but I think the lesser competition has raised their hype a bit too much. The Browns’ defense matches up well at stopping New England, and I think we’ll see the Browns’ offense work the field position game to set up their scores throughout the game.” Browns 27, Patriots 17
Matt Wood: “The Browns are back. That’s all I got to say.” Browns 45, Patriots 17
rufio: “Mac Jones needs to be suspended this week, however as a substitute he will get to be fodder for some Myles Garrett sacks. JOK returns and regardless of giving up a couple of lengthy drives, our protection holds within the crimson zone when it issues most.
On offense, no Chubb and no Felton implies that D’Ernest Johnson will get one other likelihood to shine, however Baker could make a protection pay for overplaying the run. This is schematically a troublesome matchup for our zone operating sport, so search for Bill Callahan and firm to dial up a couple of extra gap-blocked performs with pulling guards (and Duo to a 2TE aspect).
I agree with Wood: the Browns are again.” Browns 31, Patriots 17
Barry Shuck: “I honestly don’t think the Patriots are that good despite owning a 5-4-0 record. Who have they beaten? The Jets twice, Texans, Panthers (last in the NFL in passing) and yes the win over the Chargers was a plum. The rest are all bad to medium clubs. The only good about New England is their pass defense is ranked second. I believe the Browns will run D’Ernest Johnson hard and often as he is ready to show he is not a “one hit wonder.”” Browns 31, Patriots 17
Thomas Moore: “The offense rediscovered its mojo final week as Baker Mayfield didn’t have to fret about feeding the ball to a large receiver with diminishing abilities. Baker shall be examined this week, nonetheless, because the Patriots prefer to play man protection and Mayfield has struggled (if we’re being sort) when throwing towards man protection this yr. No Nick Chubb or Kareem Hunt hurts, however at D’Ernest Johnson confirmed what he’s succesful of some weeks in the past towards Denver, so the operating sport needs to be in good palms.
Defensively, the Browns ought to have the ability to management New England’s operating sport, that means the sport may come right down to how effectively rookie quarterback Mac Jones can deal with the stress. The final time the Browns confronted a rookie quarterback they made life depressing for Justin Fields, so even when they don’t rack up the identical sack numbers, bringing the identical stage of depth needs to be sufficient to take care of Jones.” Browns 28, Patriots 10
Who do you assume will win, Browns followers? Let us know within the feedback part under.