Cleveland Browns vs. San Francisco 49ers: 3 keys to a win

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Nov 29, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert (2) before a snap against the Arizona Cardinals during the first quarter at Levi

If you haven’t been following the 49ers this season, Collin Kaepernick was benched four games ago in favor of former first-round pick Blaine Gabbert.

But surprisingly the move has benefited the 49ers as Gabbert has lead San Francisco to two wins in his four starts while completing 63 percent of his passes. Gabbert’s solid play has stabilized the 49ers organization as the team may now consider Gabbert as a part of their future plans.

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Last week, Gabbert threw a game-winning touchdown pass in overtime to beat the Chicago Bears. As Gabbert has made San Francisco competitive, the Browns must find consistency on defense to compete in the game. The Browns defense allowed 37 points last week and no matter how well the Browns offense performs, the team won’t win with a defensive performance like that.

Injuries have deflated the defense all season long, but that is no excuse against a cast of sub-pair players at skill positions on offense for San Francisco, a group that includes former Browns’ running back Shaun Draughn. Over these last four games, the young players on defense must step-up and show they can play a key role moving forward. Players such as Danny Shelton, Xavier Cooper, and Nate Orchard must find ways to make plays and big impacts on the defense.

The Browns defense needs to control today’s game and find success against a bad offense. The 49ers offense ranks last in points scored per game, at 14.8, and last in yardage per game, at 295 yards. The Browns cannot let a struggling offense find confidence early or the Browns will struggle to find a way to pull out a win.

Next: Do the Browns have heart?