Bold Prediction No. 3: Cleveland Browns kicker Chase McLaughlin will go 100 percent on his kicks for the day
To Chase McLaughlin’s credit, he’s only missed one extra point all season long. That was in the Detroit Lions game. Two weeks before that he went a perfect five for five in the blowout win at the Cincinnati Bengals.
His problems in the kicking game have occurred on regular field goal attempts. He’s six for twelve on attempts since the Denver Broncos game. He did have a game earlier in the year where he went a perfect four-for-four in the Chicago Bears game.
Currently, he’s missed a few that have fans of the team grumbling. He missed what turned out to be a very crucial field at the end of the first half that kept the Las Vegas Raiders in the lead at the time. The Browns lost the game on a last-second field goal by the Raiders 16-14. If McLaughlin had made the kick earlier, then maybe the Raiders would have had to get the touchdown for the win.
Cleveland used to have the most reliable kicker in their history when Phil Dawson kicked for the team from 1999-2012. He was invincible and fans grew to love the dependable kicker. That was 10 years ago since he last kicked for the Browns and the team has struggled to find that reliable replacement. While McLaughlin started hot this year he’s cooled off. He has made 15-of-21 kicks for the year. That’s 71 percent made on his kicks. Dawson for his years in Cleveland hit on 84 percent of his kicks.
With that, and with the pressure mounting on McLaughlin this season, I think we’ll see another Christmas miracle and he’ll have a perfect day on his kicks. My fingers will be crossed as will yours. “In Chase We Trust”.
Bold Prediction No. 2: Cleveland Browns defense will sack Aaron Rodgers more than three times
Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 27 times this season. He’s also only thrown four interceptions all year. Two of those were in the Packers’ Week 1 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Since then, he’s only thrown two altogether. His last interception was back in early November. So, chances are slim to none that the Browns defensive secondary can get any interceptions in this game.
Their best chance defensively is for the team to try and get pressure on Rodgers. He’s been sacked three times in the last two games. Three seems to be the popular number as Rodgers has been sacked three times in four other games.
So, I’m going to put my money on at least four sacks by the Browns defense. Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods needs to stop playing prevent defense and have the corners and linebackers blitz on Saturday.
Bold Prediction No. 1: Cleveland Browns beat the Packers
The Packers are 11-3 on the season and have been cruising most of the year. Most of the controversy with the team has stemmed from Aaron Rodgers and Covid news as he’s usually been a magnet to vaccine issues. His arrogant front has turned off some fans and ignited others in his support. Regardless, he’s led the Packers like usual, to a nice season.
Right now, Green Bay holds a one-game lead on the other top NFC teams. After the Packers escaped Baltimore with a win against the Ravens, I’m curious to see how much effort they put into a Christmas Day game against the Browns. I think this game means much more to Cleveland coming back from various issues within the team, primarily regarding the Covid outbreak.
I think the Browns have to grab the lead from the beginning. If Cleveland falls behind, then this prediction will not happen. But I’m putting my money behind Mayfield and the Browns offense waking up to upend the Packers.
Final score prediction: Browns 27, Packers 23