3 matchups the Cleveland Browns must dominate in order to get to 8-3

• 'Him'erson vs Sutton

• DTR vs turnovers

• Garrett on Garett violence

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns / Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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This is the biggest game of the Cleveland Browns 2023 season — because it's the next one. If you have heard that before it's because head coach Kevin Stefanski’s messaging is bleeding down throughout the locker room. Winners of three straight games, and five out of the last six, the 2023 Browns are fleshing out their identity right before our eyes.

The Browns are Rocky Balboa. They'll go toe to toe with whoever you put in front of them. It's often not pretty. But it doesn't matter how many times they get punched in the face, they stay in the pocket and throw punches back. And when it matters the most, they rally and do their best work right at the final bell.

This week the Browns travel to Empower Stadium at Mile High to take on the surging Denver Broncos. Winners of four-straight, the Broncos have clawed their way back into playoff contention. It won't be easy; Denver’s fans will be juiced up and make it a raucous environment. Here are three matchups Cleveland must win if they want to escape the Mile High City with their fourth straight win.

3 matchups the Browns must dominate in order to make it to 8-3

Matchup No. 3: Martin Emerson Jr. vs Courtland Sutton

Courtland Sutton is quietly putting together a good season out in Denver. Through 10 games, Sutton has 45 catches for 499 yards and eight touchdowns. Those eight receiving touchdowns mark a career-best for him and account for 42% of the Broncos receiving touchdowns on the season. The next closest Denver receiver has three touchdowns on the season.

Even though Russell Wilson isn't lighting up the stat book, he has been really efficient in 2023. Wilson is completing 69% of his passes and has a 19 to four touchdown to interception ratio. Sutton plays a large part in that touchdown to interception efficiency for Wilson. When the Broncos get into the red zone, Wilson dials in on Sutton because it gives him an option where it is either his receiver gets it or no one gets it.

Enter Martin Emerson Jr. In Emerson, the Browns have a cornerback with the length and physicality to deal with bigger-framed receivers like Sutton. If the Broncos are able to get inside the Browns 20-yard line, Emerson is going to have to lock up Sutton.

There's no doubt that Emerson will be up for the challenge of keeping Sutton out of the endzone. Through 10 games Emerson has been targeted 43 times and has only given up 19 receptions and zero touchdowns. That 44% completion percentage allowed to quarterbacks is a clear signal to Wilson that there are no free meals when targeting No. 23.