Cleveland Browns Matchup No. 4: Joel Bitonio vs Cameron Heyward
So, what really happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Well, I guess we are going to find out Sunday at 1 pm when Joel Bitonio and Cameron Heyward line up across from one another. These rival juggernauts will once again do battle, and whoever wins the epic contest will be giving their team an immense leg up in the competition.
While this isn’t a ‘sexy matchup’, it is undoubtedly a pivotal matchup. A lot of what Heyward does will not show up on a stat sheet. The son of ‘Ironhead’ eats double teams, moves the line of scrimmage, and creates easy opportunities for his teammates on the second level.
However, Bitonio, an All-Pro in his own right, is one of the rare players that can take on Heyward in one-on-one scenarios and hold his own.
When it comes to the running game in the NFL, it is essentially a math equation that begins at the point of attack. The Browns have the advantage of being multiple in their schemes in the running game, excelling at both zone and gap schemes which keeps defenses guessing.
The Browns best course of action is to utilize wide zone blocking to make Heyward chase plays horizontally early in the game and then convert to more gap-orientated concepts later in the second half.
Bitonio is going to have his hands full with Heyward regardless of scheme utilization, but with the right game plan and execution, the immovable object could find itself relocated by 4:15 Sunday afternoon.