Cleveland Browns: Blueprint to beating the Vikings

Browns, Kareem Hunt, Nick. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Browns, Kareem Hunt, Nick. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

How can the Cleveland Browns secure a win in Week 4?

The Cleveland Browns will look to extend their winning streak to three games this Sunday when they visit the Minnesota Vikings.

There have been a lot of good things so far in the 2021 season for the Browns and those things will have to be even better this week against Minnesota.

The Vikings are no slouch team, despite being 1-2 on the season. This team is capable of putting points up on the board with an offense that almost mirrors that of the Browns, which makes sense being that Kevin Stefanski left Minnesota for Cleveland after 14 years with the organization.

The Browns will need to follow a certain blueprint in order to leave Minnesota 1-0 for the week.

First off, the defense needs to continue to apply pressure to the quarterback, this week it’s Kirk Cousins. On the season, Cousins is completing 74 percent of his passes for 918 yards, five touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He is even better when operating out of a clean pocket, go figure.

Cousins has weapons in Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, which if he has enough time to operate, could spell a long day for the Browns, who will be without rookie cornerback Greg Newsome as he nurses a calf injury.

The Vikings offensive line will not be the Bears offensive line, so defensive coordinator Joe Woods will have to get creative in order for the likes of Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney, among others, to get to Cousins early and often.

Secondly, the Browns will need to come out of the gates firing on all cylinders offensively. The last two weeks, there has been something that seemed off, at least for the standard the offense is trying to set.

The offense has a favorable defensive matchup to go up against as the Vikings have shown they can give up big games. Minnesota gives up 10.1 yards per attempt, which is right in the wheelhouse of quarterback Baker Mayfield who averages 9.8 yards per attempt.

The Browns receivers could be in for a big game with the Vikings giving up 13.3 yards per reception and six touchdowns thus far in the young season.

The two players who could be in for an even bigger game are the dynamic duo of running backs, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Minnesota allows 4.8 yards per carry and 119.3 yards per game. Chubb averages 5.5 yards per carry while Hunt averages 5.7. The Browns average 173.4 yards per game on the ground.

Cleveland is a run-first team, rightfully so, which could mean a huge game for the entire offense this Sunday in Minnesota. While Mayfield is the leader of the offense, the running game is where everything gets set up.

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If the Browns can continue to apply pressure to the quarterback and run the offense to its fullest capabilities, there is no reason they can’t go 1-0 for the week to improve to 3-1 on the season.