Finally, once the Browns have stopped the run, protected their quarterback, and played a clean game on both sides of the ball, they must finish each possession faithfully. This goes for both the offense and the defense, as each will be faced with critical situations on third down which may quite possibly sway the outcome of the game.
On defense, winning on third down does more than stopping the opposition from scoring and getting the ball back to the offense. It keeps the defense off the field and gives the team a big boost in the time of possession battle. Allowing numerous third down conversions will only make the game easy for Kirk Cousins and the Washington offense.
On the other side of the ball, the Browns need to convert some third downs. Maintaining drives is one critical step to scoring consistently, and this can be achieved by Cleveland if they remain on the field on offense.
A victorious combination comes when a team can get off the field on defense on third down when the opportunity arises, while converting third down opportunities on offense to sustain drives. If the Browns put themselves in a position on both sides of the ball to be able to do this, a victory is within their grasp.
The Browns are going to have to play a solid game on Sunday in all phases. But if they follow these five keys and execute each successfully, they will find themselves winning comfortably on Sunday.