Key to victory No. 1: Get pressure on Joe Burrow
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was one penalty away from becoming the first quarterback picked No. 1 overall to win a Week 1 start in his rookie year since David Carr for the Houston Texans in 2002. While he wasn’t flawless in his NFL debut, he looked poised and remained composed, even after making a few mistakes early in the game.
The Cleveland Browns have loads of talent on their defensive line, especially in pass-rushing specialists Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon. Facing a weak offensive line like the Bengals, the Browns should focus on getting pressure on Joe Burrow and forcing him into making mistakes, or at least rush him into making decisions.
The NFL game goes fast for rookies, especially at the quarterback position, and while Burrow looked and played well in Week 1, there will still be moments where you can tell he is in fact a rookie. Forcing Burrow to rush into decisions may make him throw into windows he normally wouldn’t, allowing a talented defensive back like Denzel Ward to get his hands on an interception.
While the Browns struggled against a polished and established Ravens offense in Week 1, they face an offense that is new and has yet to even establish their identity. Getting pressure on the rookie quarterback should be priority number one for the Cleveland Browns defense. If they can do that and force Joe Burrow into a few mistakes, they’ll likely set themselves up for their first victory on the season.