With the season on the brink, the Cleveland Browns welcome a winless Detroit Lions team to the shores of Lake Erie. Here are three crucial matchups to watch for in this Week 11 tilt.
The Cleveland Browns have their backs against the wall and are in desperate need of a get-right game. There are no gimme games in the NFL and any given Sunday the more talented team can get taken to the proverbial woodshed. However, when you look at the Browns remaining schedule, having the Detroit Lions up next is the best possible scenario.
The Lions are coming off of their first non-loss of the season, and with Cleveland’s quarterback battling significant injuries, Detroit is smelling the blood in the water.
This is where the rubber meets the road, and it will be up to Cleveland to establish its dominance from the outset. Here are three matchups that the Browns need to exploit in order to get back in the winning column.
Matchup No. 1: Jadeveon Clowney vs Penei Sewell
The Detroit Lions hit the NFL draft lottery when Oregon’s Penei Sewell fell to them in the first round. Instead of overthinking the situation, Detroit did what every good organization should do, they took the sure thing. Hitting on a stud offensive tackle is a long-term play and won’t net the Lions any wins this season, but rest assured it will pay off.
Last week, Sewell was back at right tackle and drew the assignment of T.J. Watt. Although Watt left early due to injury, while he was in there Sewell gave up zero pressures or hurries. Next up for the rookie…Jadeveon Clowney.
While Clowney won’t wow the people who just go by stat lines, anyone who watches the Browns play will tell you that 90 wrecks the line of scrimmage. Sewell has gone up against a fair share of studs so far in his rookie campaign but Clowney will represent his biggest challenge to date.
The Lions do not have an explosive offense, but what they do well takes place at or near the line of scrimmage. Because of that, this contest has all the makings of a huge game for Clowney and his skillset. Sewell is not your average rookie and will definitely hold his own, but Clowney should still flash and blow up a handful of plays in the running game.