They say that winning cures all. Well, the Cleveland Browns need to put the old adage to the test. Coming into week 14 riding a two-game skid, the Browns welcome the AFC South-leading Jacksonville Jaguars to the shores of Lake Erie.
Miraculously, even after dropping two straight road games, the Browns still find themselves in the driver's seat of the AFC Wildcard playoff race. Entering the fourth quarter of the season at 7-5, Cleveland is in complete control of their own playoff destiny. However, that could all change with one loss.
Out of the Browns final five games, the Jaguars are one of only two teams with above .500 records. Luckily, they get Jacksonville in Cleveland, where their defense has played dramatically better this season. What matchups do the Browns need to win to send the Jaguars back to Jacksonville with a loss on Sunday?
3 matchups the Cleveland Browns must control to snap their two-game losing streak
Matchup No. 3: Geron Christian vs Josh Allen
When talking about the Jacksonville Jaguars defense, the conversation begins and ends with Josh Allen. For the uninitiated, yes there is more than one Josh Allen in the NFL, and Jacksonville’s Josh Allen is an absolute menace. Entering Sunday’s contest in Cleveland, Allen is tied for third in the NFL with 13.5 sacks.
While the Jaguars will occasionally move Allen around, the vast majority of his snaps come from the right side of the defense. That means the Browns stand-in left tackle Geron Christian will draw the assignment of slowing down Allen. Christian has quietly been solid since taking over for Jedrick Wills when the former first rounder was placed on the IR in week ten.
Regardless of who Cleveland starts at quarterback, cough…it will be Joe Flacco...cough, protecting that quarterback will be the offense’s top priority. In what could be Christian’s last start, with the possibility of Wills returning from the injured reserve as soon as next week, the best outcome would not be hearing his name during the broadcast. However, if Christian’s name becomes a staple for the broadcast team it will be a long afternoon for the Browns offense.