3 keys to victory in Week 15: Browns must contain Justin Fields

The Cleveland Browns can find themselves at 9-5 with these 3 keys to victory against the Bears.

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
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The Cleveland Browns are gearing up for their Week 15 matchup against the Chicago Bears this Sunday in Cleveland. The Browns and Bears are each coming off a Week 14 victory, Cleveland beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-27, and the Bears beating the Minnesota Vikings 12-10.

Cleveland enters this weekend just one game above the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals, who have won their last two games, in the AFC North standings. The Browns have officially named Joe Flacco as their starting quarterback for the remainder of the season as they look to finish the year strong and secure a playoff appearance for the first time since 2020. Here are three keys to victory for the Browns as they begin the homestretch.

3. Ground and Pound 

Despite losing Nick Chubb in Week 2, the Cleveland Browns have the seventh-most rushing yards, the sixth-most rushing first downs, and the tenth-most rushing touchdowns in the National Football League. They're averaging 4.1 rushing yards per carry and 131.0 yards per game, making them one of the most efficient running attacks in the league. However, the Browns have only cracked 100 yards once in the past four weeks, coming in their 12-29 loss against the Denver Broncos. 

  • Week 1 (CIN - W): 40 Attempts - 206 Yards -  5.2 YPC - 1 Touchdown 
  • Week 2 (At PIT - L): 35 Attempts - 198 Yards - 5.7 YPC - 1 Touchdown
  • Week 3 (TEN - W): 31 Attempts - 78 Yards - 2.5 YPC - 1 Touchdown
  • Week 4 (BAL - L): 25 Attempts - 93 Yards - 3.7 YPC - 0 Touchdowns
  • BYE
  • Week 6 (SF - W): 34 Attempts - 160 Yards - 4.7 YPC - 1 Touchdown
  • Week 7 (At IND - W): 33 Attempts - 150 Yards - 4.5 YPC - 3 Touchdowns
  • Week 8 (At SEA - L): 40 Attempts - 155 Yards - 3.9 YPC - 1 Touchdown
  • Week 9 (ARI - W): 40 Attempts - 113 Yards - 2.8 YPC - 1 Touchdown
  • Week 10 (At BAL - W): 36 Attempts - 178 Yards - 4.9 YPC - 1 Touchdown
  • Week 11 (PIT - W): 29 Attempts - 96 Yards - 3.3 YPC - 1 Touchdown
  • Week 12 (At DEN - L): 24 Attempts - 107 Yards - 4.5 YPC - 0 Touchdowns
  • Week 13 (AT LAR - L): 23 Attempts - 87 Yards - 3.8 YPC - 0 Touchdowns
  • Week 14 (JAX - W): 28 Attempts - 82 Yards - 2.9 YPC - 1 Touchdown

Cleveland's 2-3 this season in games where they don't score a rushing touchdown. If the Browns run the ball more than 30 times, rush for at least 90 yards, and get the ball into the endzone at least once, they will have no problem defeating the 6-8 Chicago Bears.

2. Keep Moore and Kmet in Check

Bears wide receiver DJ Moore and tight end Cole Kmet have been Justin Fields' go-to guys all season. Moore is leading Chicago in receiving yards (1,071) and receiving touchdowns (seven), with Cole Kmet right behind him with 548 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns. The Bears have yet to play a game where either Moore or Kmet isn't one of the top two receivers. 

  • 137/180 Combined Receptions 
  • 1,619 Combined Receiving Yards 
  • 80 Combined First Downs
  • 12 Combined Touchdowns 

If the Browns can keep the ball out of Moore and Kmet's hands and prevent them from making game-changing plays, the Browns can come away with the victory.

1. Contain Justin Fields  

Justin Fields is a quarterback who can punish any defense in the league with his arm and his legs. Not only has Fields thrown from almost 2,000 yards, but Fields also leads the Chicago Bears in rushing with 458 yards this year. Fields is averaging 201.1 passing yards, 50.9 rushing yards, and 118 combined first downs.

In the past three games, he's thrown for 609 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 221 yards and one touchdown. If the Cleveland defense can keep Justin Fields from breaking out of the pocket and force him to make hurried passes, the Browns can keep the Bears from creating any momentum, especially late in the game.    

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