These matchups could be the difference for the Cleveland Browns in Week 3
While there is no doubt that Cleveland Browns fans are on top of the world right now, it is time to get back to business. And business this week is to step onto your home field and beat a team that has a very strong pass rush and talented skilled players on offense in the Washington Football Team.
There is plenty of reason for excitement for fans in Cleveland, but we must remember it’s still early. And while it does feel better now that the Los Angeles Chargers (who the Bengals should have beaten in Week 1) competed with the Kansas City Chiefs, paper matchups only lead to disappointment. Winning in the NFL is tough against anyone, so a win Thursday night vs. the Bengals is a huge step in the right direction no matter what.
The Browns offense looked like the 2018 offense when Baker Mayfield was making quick, decisive throws and threaded the needle on coverage. On top of that, the offensive line was opening huge holes for Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. All fans want to see that duplicated once again vs. Washington. Once can be a fluke, but twice is starting to sit a pattern. And what the Browns need more than anything is a pattern of a strong offensive showing every week.
The jury is still out on Joe Woods and his defense. The squad has given up a ton of passing yards to both the Ravens and Bengals but did tighten up when needed the most. Injuries have been devastating, as the Browns were without four starters on Thursday night (five if you include rookie safety Grant Delpit who won’t return this year) and ended up losing another in Adrian Clayborn.
The extended time off should give the team time to get healthy, and there is hope that Mack Wilson, Greedy Williams, and Olivier Vernon will return to the starting lineup. After so many passing yards over the middle, the return of Wilson will be welcomed with open arms.
Now that the Browns are on to Washington, let’s dive into five key matchups to watch. If the Browns can win more than half of these, look for them to come away with a second straight win.