Severe winter weather expected for Browns vs. Saints on Saturday
The Browns are set to clash the New Orleans Saints on Saturday at 1 p.m. and forecasts are calling for severe winter weather in the Cleveland area.
Early forecasts are predicting that Saturday’s Cleveland Browns game could be severely impacted by extreme winter weather. High temperatures are expected to be around 13 degrees with wind sitting at around 30 mph and gusts reaching up to as high as 60-70 mph.
The wind chill will likely dive deep into the negative teens and in addition to the cold air and wind, around 1-3 inches of snow is expected.
The New Orleans Saints announced on Tuesday that the team is planning to depart New Orleans following their practice Thursday in an attempt to avoid severe winter weather.
It will likely be a big day for Nick Chubb and the Browns’ rushing attack. Chubb downplayed the severe weather on Tuesday and emphasized the fact that it’s out of their control and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
The conditions are not ideal for Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson. Over the past few weeks, Watson has continued to knock the rust off and show glimpses of his old self. Now, this weekend, Watson will likely be handing the ball off more than usual and could face challenges trying to move the ball through the air.
To the Browns’ advantage, the Saints rushing attack ranks toward the bottom of the league while Cleveland’s ranks near the top. The Browns could also potentially get center Ethan Pocic back from injury for Saturday’s matchup. The team designated his return from the injured reserve on Tuesday and head coach Kevin Stefanski says he has a good chance to play Saturday.
Without Pocic, the Browns’ offensive line tanked to nearly the worst in the NFL, so getting him back on the field would be a huge boost for them.
Joe Woods and the defense will look to string together yet another outstanding defensive performance in the elements. However, this weekend the defense could be without edge-rusher Jadeveon Clowney as he’s in concussion protocol.
Without Clowney, the Browns will look to rely on their younger defensive ends like Alex Wright and Isaiah Thomas to slow down Alvin Kamara and the Saints. The Browns and New Orleans have had about equal success this season in the run-stopping department and they rank directly next to each other.