Matchup No. 2: David Njoku vs T.J. Edwards
The Browns passing game awoke from its month-long slumber last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Joe Flacco effect on the Browns offense has been undeniable. The biggest benefactor from Flacco’s quarterback play last week was David Njoku.
The ultra-athletic tight end was targeted eight times and pulled in six passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Last Sunday was the first time Njoku scored multiple touchdowns in a game and his 91 yards was the second most receiving yards the tight end has ever had in a contest. There was an emphasis placed on getting the ball in Njoku’s hands and let him do what he does best, gain yards after the catch.
Currently, Njoku leads all tight ends in yards after the catch. Njoku has 600 receiving yards through the first 13 games of the season, and 394 of those receiving yards have come after the catch. If the Browns want to continue to feed Njoku against the Bears that will mean going after linebacker T.J. Edwards.
The Bears run a cover two scheme on defense which requires linebackers that can run and cover. Edwards, a free agent addition, fits that bill to a t. The fifth-year linebacker has both tremendous range as well as coverage skills. Over the past three games, Edwards has three passes defensed and two interceptions. Flacco and the Browns will have to straddle the line of not putting the ball in danger and getting the ball in the hands of their most physical receiving threat.