Defense Keeps Up the Hot Streak
It’s been mentioned before just how a rookie quarterback’s season tends to go. There are some ups, there are some downs, and there is virtually no consistency. This is why it’s so important to include the “too young to tell” tier when ranking quarterbacks. As one Sam Rutigliano might say, they’re like teabags. You don’t know what you have until you put them in hot water. And even then, they might not be done showing their full potential until a year or two in.
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Sam Darnold started his career with a pick-six at the hands of the Quandre Diggs of the Detroit Lions. He would finish the game, however, with a 48-17 win over those same Lions, and a 31-point third quarter. Darnold showed flashes of both sides of himself from USC in just his first game. That is, he might throw some head-scratching picks, but when he’s on, he’s going to get the win.
As of right now, the Browns lead the NFL in turnovers created with eight. If they can force one, or even two, out of Darnold, it may be enough to turn the tides heavily in Cleveland’s favor. The Browns have played two of the NFL’s top quarterbacks in the first two games in Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees. If they were able to force three interceptions out of Big Ben, they should be able to pick off one or two of Darnold’s passes as well. Cleveland, somewhat quietly, is becoming one of the league’s best defensive units. Expect them to continue their hot streak here.