Cleveland Browns 3 biggest matchups to watch against Arizona Cardinals
Matchup No. 2: Hopkins and Cardinals wide receivers versus Cleveland Browns secondary
Before last weekend, the Browns defense had really shown off a very good version of their aggressive and talented group that they could shut down opposing offenses.
Well that all blew up this past weekend. Granted, there were numerous injuries, especially in the secondary with Greg Newsome and Denzel Ward missing action, but the Browns gave up 47 points and several huge plays that went for big yards because there were breakdowns defensively, in communication and that simply just can’t happen.
But you have a powerful offense with good receivers again approaching and things could get ugly for the Browns if they don’t hone in on their skills, communication, and aggressiveness.
Cardinals star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has 23 catches and 312 yards plus four touchdowns already this year. He’s been one of the most dominating receivers in the league for almost a decade. Arizona also has A.J. Green, yes that former Cincinnati Bengal star on the team and he’s already had 16 catches for 261 yards and two scores. Add in Christian Kirk with 21 catches for 283 yards and that Browns secondary could have a problem Sunday.
To put that in perspective compared to the Cardinals, Cleveland wide receiver Rashard Higgins leads their wide receivers with 143 yards. Browns running back Kareem Hunt leads the team in receptions with 17 and the Browns tight end David Njoku leads the team in yards with 260.
Last week Hopkins caught six passes for 87 yards and he scored the game-winning touchdown in the closing minutes against the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers held the Cardinals high-flying offense in check much of the game. If the Browns can get to their quarterback Murray and cause his timing to be off that could be a victory for Cleveland. Otherwise, Hopkins and the rest of his wide receiver mates could have a big day.