The Cleveland Browns will host the San Diego Chargers today in their latest quest to win a game. We talked with Travis Wakeman from Bolt Beat to learn a bit about the Chargers.
The NFL has a full slate of games on tap for the holiday weekend, including today’s matchup between the Cleveland Browns and San Diego Chargers.
San Diego comes to town having lost four of their past five games and will miss the playoffs for the third consecutive season and for the sixth time in the past seven years.
The Chargers will still present problems for the Browns as they have the league’s ninth-best defense against the run. Quarterback Philip Rivers has thrown for almost 4,000 yards and 29 touchdown passes in leading an offense that is averaging 26 points a game — a number that the Browns have only matched twice all season.
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With it highly likely that the Chargers may be moving to Los Angeles after the season, which would also bring about a rumored rebranding, this may be the last time the Browns take on a team named the San Diego Chargers.
Question: Joey Bosa and the team went through a lot to get him signed. He’s only played 10 games but leads the team in sacks with 7.5. Save to say he was worth the hassle?
Travis: I don’t think he was worth the hassle, but I don’t think it’s OK for any player to hold out the way that he did. I think you can actually put a lot of the Chargers’ early season struggles partially on Bosa. That said, the man is a tremendous talent who was well worth the pick that San Diego used on him. There is hope for the future with him on the defensive side of the ball, that’s for sure.
Question: There has been a lot of angst from Browns fans about the free agents the team let go in the 0ff-season, a group that includes Travis Benjamin. How has his first season in San Diego gone so far?
Travis: I don’t think it’s gone that well. He’s all but disappeared in many of the team’s games and his late fumble in Week 4 against the New Orleans Saints cost the Chargers the game. Plus, both Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman have outplayed him and proven to be more trusted in the passing game. I don’t want to write Benjamin off yet, but I think most fans expected more out of him.
Question: Who is the player (or players) that Browns fans are not familiar with to keep an eye on during the game?
Travis: Kenneth Farrow. Many fantasy football players have likely heard his name as they scrambled to their waiver wire to grab him in the last two weeks, He will get the start again thus week with Melvin Gordon out, and I would expect him to play much better than he did last week against the Oakland Raiders. Undrafted out of Houston, Farrow has impressed team officials and has a chance to show he’ll stick with the team for years to come.
Question: We know what it is like to see a team move out of town. Are the Chargers truly done in San Diego and how is everyone taking it?
Travis: Yeah, they’re all but gone. I know Chargers fans aren’t going to like hearing that, because many of them seem in denial, but it seems like a done deal. Dean Spanos doesn’t seem to want anything to do with the city any more and is even talking about completely rebranding the team. We could be watching one of the last Chargers games ever.
Question: Warm weather team … playing on the road on Christmas Eve … in front of a stadium that may be one-third full. Any chance the Chargers mail this one in so they can get back to the egg nog and cookies?
Travis: I don’t think so. This team doesn’t roll over for anyone and if nothing else, I think they’ve shown that this season. Philip Rivers is the ultimate competitor and I don’t think he’s going to allow this team to quit, meaningless game or not.
Question: What’s the final prediction?
Travis: If Cleveland is going to win a game this season, this is their best and last chance at this point. I expect Cleveland to fight hard, but I don’t think it will be enough. The Chargers avoid being the only team to lose to the Browns this year … barely. Chargers 24, Browns 23