3 matchups that could swing the game for the Browns on MNF

• A chess match for the QB

• Two hungry up and comers

• Stiff challenge for a young giant

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns
Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Matchup No. 1: Dawand Jones vs T.J. Watt

There are two massive matchups to watch along the line of scrimmage on Monday night. But when the Browns have the ball, all eyes will be drawn to the Cleveland’s right tackle, Dawand Jones.

Jones will be making his first start in the NFL and drawing one of the toughest assignments possible. Jones will be tasked with blocking T.J. Watt on national television. Not an enviable spot for any player to be in, let alone a fourth-round rookie making his first start in the league.

Watt is one of a handful of edge defenders who can wreck a game single handedly, something the Browns know something about considering they have one on their roster as well. Watt’s 2022 was cut short due to a torn pectoral muscle, but he appears to have rebounded from the injury registering three sacks in the Steelers home opener last week.

Jones was called into duty just a quarter and half into his NFL career when Jack Conklin went down with what would later be determined as a season ending injury. So much for bringing Jones along slowly. It is straight into the deep end of the pool for ‘Big Thanos’.

The Browns will do what they can to help Jones keep Watt at bay, but ultimately it will be up to Jones to thwart one of the league’s most productive pass rushers. Jones has all of the physical tools, not the least of which is his immense size and surprisingly quick feet, to be successful but it is going to take a laser focused mindset to go just one play at a time against Watt.

If ‘Big Thanos’ can snap Watt away, the rest of the league will take notice.

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