Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Digging through the stats of the 2012 Cleveland Browns season to try and identify their weaknesses heading into Sunday's game against the Chargers.
You guys know how I like to dig through stats and generate theories based off of them? Well, honestly, I don't know much about this Cleveland Browns team that the San Diego Chargers are playing on Sunday. They have a rookie RB that's awesome and a rookie QB that's about as old as Philip Rivers. That's all I know. So I thought I'd go digging through a bunch of their stats and see if I can't find their weaknesses.
- Let's get the basics out of the way. The Browns are 1-6 and are very, very beat up. Their injury report is going to tire me out just typing it tomorrow.
- The Browns beat the Bengals. They've lost to the Eagles, Bengals, Bills, Ravens, Giants and Colts. That's a brutal schedule. They're 1-2 at home and probably should've beaten the Eagles in Week 1 in Cleveland.
- Josh Cribbs is still scary. He's averaging 31 yards per kick return. 31 yards! He also fumbles a bit. He has 4 fumbles so far this season.
- Brandon Weeden has thrown 10 picks against 9 TDs. That's good (for the Chargers). In his last two games, he's thrown 4 TDs against just 1 INT. That's bad (for the Chargers).
- After averaging 2.4 turnovers per game on offense through their first 5 games, the Browns have turned the ball over just once in their last two games.
- The Cleveland defense is a turnover machine. They average more than 2 defensive turnovers per game and are yet to go a game without forcing a turnover. They have forced 10 turnovers in their 3 home games.
- Sheldon Brown, who was drafted the same year as Quentin Jammer, is not very good. He certainly shouldn't be starting. However, he is.
- D'Qwell Jackson has been really good, Donald Butler-type good, for years now. Do people realize that yet? I keep waiting for them to.
- If I'm reading these stats right, their pass defense is pretty solid but their run defense leaves something to be desired. They give up more than 133 yards on the ground per game. Their only win came against a Bengals team that struggled to run the ball effectively with Benjarvus Green-Ellis.
Have we formed a gameplan yet? We have!
Offense: Run the ball. Run it some more. Bring in some backup running backs so that Ryan Mathews can get a breather, and run it with them as well. Once Mathews has gulped down his Gatorade, put him back in the game and run it again. I don't care if the Browns and their fans have gone home and it's now midnight, keep running the ball. Do not, under any circumstances, give Philip Rivers a chance to throw a bunch of interceptions.
Defense: Hit Trent Richardson in his sore ribs and make sure the underneath stuff is covered. Put 8 in the box on every play and make sure that Eric Weddle is somewhere near Josh Gordon (who is averaging 23.8 yards per catch). Force Weeden to beat you by throwing deep passes to guys like Greg Little and Jordan Norwood. Sure, they'll be one-on-one with Quentin Jammer and Marcus Gilchrist, but the Chargers will win that matchup more than they'll lose it.