The West Coast trip didn't start on the right foot for the Cleveland Browns as they lost in Denver to the Broncos 29-12. This week, they go to Los Angeles for a clash with the Rams. One piece of good news in Cleveland's favor is that Kevin Stefanski is 19-8 after a loss.
Injuries have played a major role this season for the Browns from the get-go; now, there are even more the team is dealing with. Rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson is in concussion protocol. Denzel Ward is dealing with a shoulder injury and after last week, so is Myles Garrett.
When will it end?!
Regardless of who is or isn't on the field, the NFL does not pity any team and the games must go on. The next-man-up mentality will have to be utilized yet again, but this team has shown it can handle adversity. The fact this team is sitting at 7-4 with the number of crucial injuries is simply remarkable. We've seen Browns' teams in the past just pack it in, but not this group, led by their head coach. Here are the top 3 keys to victory for the Browns vs the Rams in Week 13.
3. Competent quarterback play
The Browns have continued to watch the quarterback merry-go-round keep on going and this week seems no different. With DTR in concussion protocol, Cleveland will turn to 38-year-old Joe Flacco, who used to torment this franchise for years while he was in Baltimore and even last year when he was with the Jets.
Even if DTR was cleared, Flacco should be the starter. There was never a need to put the rookie out there and risk further head injury. While the former Raven isn't who he used to be, he is still a veteran with a Super Bowl. He's easily the quarterback that best reads NFL defense on this roster, so that should help.
Whether it's Flacco or DTR who suits up at any point going forward, all this team needs is competent quarterback play. Essentially, this team needs whoever is under center to simply manage the game. Neither have to play hero ball by any means. Keep drives alive, find the open receiver, and limit the turnovers. That is not much to ask, and we've seen this team win with P.J. Walker.