The Cleveland Browns head out west to San Francisco to face the 49ers in a showdown of first-place teams. Here are the Browns keys to leaving the bay area with a victory.
Keep Feeding Nick Chubb
If you read this piece each week, then you know my obsession with getting Nick Chubb the ball. In the last two games, the Browns have done just that. Chubb has received the ball 20+ times a game, and he has gained 157 yards per game from scrimmage. Chubb has also found the endzone three times. This production is further proof that this team is better with the ball in his hands. While the 49ers defense has been statistically fantastic, they have faced teams with a combined 3-9 record. The coaching staff needs to treat this, precisely like the Baltimore game. Once again, make a top-ranked run defense prove they are actually a top-ranked run defense.
Offensive Line Must be Ready
The Browns will face the best front four they have seen all year in San Francisco. The 49ers boast a talented group of pass rushers led by Arik Armstead and offseason trade pickup Dee Ford. The Browns offensive line must create push in the run game. This will create short-yardage situations for the Browns on second and third down. This approach will help to slow the 49ers pass-rush. Sprinkling in some draw plays and screens could also have the desired effect. If the line can’t establish some early dominance, it could be another long day for Baker and his happy feet.
Another game, Another Top rushing Attack
Not only do the 49ers have a top-five team stopping the run this season. They also boast the second-ranked rushing attack in the NFL at 175 yards per game. The Shanahan offense is predicated on a strong run game setting up the deep passing attack. The Browns front seven will need to be up to the task once again. Maintaining discipline will be key to stopping Shanahan’s zone run scheme. Slowing the run will create third and long situations for the pass rush to create havoc.
Bonus Key to more Victories
This week I have one more key to the Browns having a more victory Mondays/Tuesdays. This is a quote from Baker Mayfield that took place the week before the Ravens game.
“We expected to have success early on.” Mayfield said “We didn’t expect it to be easy. But I think that’s the frustrating part. We wanted it to be easy, but now we really know. People are going to game-plan. They’re going to have a strategy for us, and we need to be able to adapt. Talent’s not going to take us there. We have to do our job.”www.washingtonpost.com
After reading this quote, I thought about bringing it up in last week’s keys to victory. In the end, I chose to focus more on the Baltimore game. If the Browns want to be SuperBowl caliber, the above thought process must never creep into the locker room again. Freddie and his staff need to make sure of it.
Feeling confident this week. The Browns will use the above keys to victory on Monday night with a 35-21 win over the 49ers. Confidence is vital to winning. Overconfidence will have you looking up in the standings real quick.