3 Reasons Cleveland Browns will beat the Panthers in Week 1
2. Elite Defense
Reason No. 2 is a two-pronged answer.
First off, I don’t think the Panthers offense is going to be that great. I know they have a few really big playmakers that do scare me a bit, but with the short time that they have had to gel with Mayfield, week one is going to be a stretch for them to be fully in sync.
Second, I think this Cleveland Browns defense could be dangerous in 2022. With the linebackers having another year of experience and the additional is the secondary, the only weakness lies at defensive tackle. I’ve seen flashes of greatness in the preseason at the position, but there have also been flashes of gaping holes up the middle.
The key to Sunday will be how well they can protect Mayfield. If Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney are constantly getting pressure and speeding up his internal clock, guys like Christian McCaffrey, Robbie Anderson, and D.J. Moore won’t matter. Remember, the Browns had a loaded roster the last two seasons on offense, and they never could move the ball if the opposing team got pressure.
After closing the 2021 season with one of the better defenses in the league, the expectations are high for Joe Woods and this team in 2022. Without their starting quarterback, the pressure will be even higher for the defense to perform at an elite level to give this team a chance to win.