Not only is the coaching staff to blame for poor play calling this season, incredibly unworkable field position has also put the Browns in situations where their playbook is limited. This, among other reasons, is why field position will matter so much in this Christmas Eve showdown.
Special teams is key in the effort to win the field position battle. But smart play calling and the right mindset on both sides of the ball is equally important. Running the ball effectively will move the chains, setting up opportunities to pin the Chargers inside the 20-yard-line if they don’t score.
Defensively, Cleveland can generate pressure on Rivers and get off the field before San Diego approaches midfield. This will help set up their offense, as long as they do not make any major mistakes on special teams. Judging based on past weeks, this is not such a safe assumption to make.
The Browns are desperate for a win, and the Chargers are more than likely ready to put the finishing touches on an unsuccessful 2016. As a west coast team traveling to the east on a holiday, this is a real opportunity for the Browns to surprise the NFL and avoid being the biggest joke in the history of sports. But still, nothing will come easily for this team. They must follow these keys, stay disciplined, and maintain an elite degree of intensity for sixty minutes.