The 2023 Cleveland Browns overcome adversity for breakfast. The Browns sit at 8-5 despite having started four different quarterbacks and placing 14 players on injured reserve. That number could very well be at 15 by the time this article gets published. Yet, they're in the driver’s seat in the AFC wildcard race.
With four games left in the regular season, the Browns only have two games remaining against teams with winning records. However, their next opponent, the Chicago Bears, comes into Sunday’s game in Cleveland with a record of 5-8. But the Bears are coming off a win against the NFC North leading Detroit Lions.
The phrase ‘any given Sunday’ definitely applies to Cleveland's next contest. Even with all the injuries the Browns have sustained, they still hold a significant talent advantage over the Bears. However, that does not mean that the Browns can just roll their helmets out on Sunday and expect to get their ninth victory of the season.
Here are three matchups the Browns must win to get to 9-5
Matchup No. 3: Geron Christian vs Montez Sweat
It's impossible to argue that the Chicago Bears defense has not been a better unit over the last month. The most noticeable difference has been the Bears ability to get after opposing quarterbacks. And it is the newly acquired Montez Sweat leading that charge.
The addition of Sweat gave them someone to pair with edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue. Unfortunately for Chicago, Ngakoue broke his ankle in their win over the Detroit Lions and is now out for the remainder of the season. However, Sweat is still a problem that must be accounted for.
While the Bears will most likely move Sweat around with Ngakoue out, the majority of his reps to this point have come on the right side of Chicago’s defense. For the Browns that means that left tackle Geron Christian will draw the assignment of slowing down Chicago’s one man pass rushing band on Sunday. The mission is clear, keep Joe Flacco standing and attack the Bears secondary, but to do that Christian must neutralize Montez Sweat.