3 areas where Cleveland Browns need to improve against Chargers in Week 5
Area of improvement No. 2: Redzone efficiency
Many fans won’t want to hear what I am about to say. This week, it comes down to getting seven instead of three in every red zone appearance. After how last week’s game in Atlanta played out, that might be a hard statement to swallow.
Due to the explosive nature of the Chargers’ offense, the Browns can’t trade possessions with Los Angeles swapping field goals for touchdowns. If the offense cracks the 10-yard line, they must walk away with seven points on every trip. But Cleveland needs to stay true to their strengths in order to make that happen.
Last week, the Browns found themselves with only 10 points despite several trips inside the 10. Against the Chargers, that outcome would be a death sentence and could lead to getting boat raced on your own field. But how should the Browns approach the red zone this week that could lead to a more favorable result?
Well, first off, they need to lean into who they are offensively and make the Chargers stop them as opposed to stopping themselves. This entire offense is based upon being able to run the ball. So regardless of whether it is going to be a run or a pass, it has to look like a run. That is especially true in the red zone where the field is already condensed.
Cleveland should also utilize the threat that Jacoby Brissett brings with his ability to effectively run quarterback sneaks. In order to do that, Brissett will need to execute one or two sneaks early to establish it in the minds of the Chargers’ defenders. That threat will cause the defensive tackles to pinch inside and open up rush lanes on the edges.
Lastly, maximize your personnel. The Browns should be playing Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt at the same time, especially inside the 10-yard line. Even if it ends up being a play-action pass, just the presence of Chubb and Hunt will stress the Chargers’ defense out and open up opportunities for your other weapons. The Browns’ efficiency inside the 10 will likely decide their fate on Sunday.