Times are changing for the Cleveland Browns. Last season was such a big success, with a new coach in charge in Kevin Stefanski. Learning how to maneuver through the craziness of the Covid pandemic and being able to go 11-5 and win a playoff game, in what had seemed an eternity, was all a job well done.
Then the Browns got to the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Kansas City Chiefs and though they lost 22-17 they certainly put the NFL on notice that they’d be back soon. That soon is actually approaching in a week when they travel back out to Kansas City in Week 1 to face the Chiefs in an opening weekend battle.
What has stood out to me as I’ve rewatched portions of that game multiple times was how close the Browns came to winning the game. Yes, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes left the game midway because of an injury but the Browns played well overall.
One area of the team that stood out like a sore thumb was the defense and not being able to rise to the occasion multiple times throughout the game to get the stops that would be needed to win the game.
For the Browns to do well and win against the Chiefs this time around, they’re going to need production in these three areas of the game on the defensive side of the ball when they line up in a week. And the best part of this is, like many of you, this new direction, that coach Kevin Stefanski has this team streaming toward has this fan more confident than any of recent memory that the job will get done. Can you feel it too?
Cleveland Browns edge rushers: Garrett and Clowney
We’ve been waiting for these two special bookends to the Browns defensive front, Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney to play a game together. What a better way, then in front of agitated Chiefs fans at Arrowhead Stadium, for these two Browns to get their record-breaking season started. Folks, it’s going to be special to watch.
For the last several years, we were all watching for what Garrett was going to do each down. When would he get his sack? When would he stop being double-teamed by the opponent?
With Clowney now on the line, there go those double teams all day on Garrett.
If Garrett and Clowney make a splash, as I expect they do in a week against the Chiefs, then the Browns have an excellent chance at picking up the win.
If they can get to Mahomes or at least keep him in the pocket by protecting the edges, then Clowney and Garrett will have done their job. I’m anxious to see what type of push the other Browns defensive lineman can get. The new Browns signee defensive tackle Malik McDowell, who’s been tossing his opponents around like rag dolls has been very disruptive so far. If he and the other Browns like veteran defensive tackle Malik Jackson and defensive tackle Jordan Elliott can create that wall up the middle and get into the backfield frequently then both Garrett and Clowney can use their speed on the ends to force Mahomes into bad decisions.