Three reasons why the Cleveland Browns will defeat the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
After last season, I was convinced that Cleveland Browns' CB Joe Haden was the best corner in the NFL. I'm not sure I feel the same way, but he is definitely good enough to be considered a "shutdown corner". Despite being 5'11", expect him to blanket the 6'5" Malcom Floyd for most of the game. That leaves the San Diego Chargers relying on Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal as their best options at WR, and neither of those guys have shown much of anything as members of this team.
Sure, Weeden just turned 29 years old, but Cleveland's rookie QB is getting better each week. After being sacked 8 times in his first 3 games, he's been sacked just 3 times in the 4 games since. He now trusts the very talented offensive line in front of him and he's making better decisions because of it. He has thrown 2 TDs in each of his last 3 games, and it wouldn't be surprising if he did the same against a weak Chargers pass rush and secondary this week.
This San Diego Chargers team still has the talent to excite the fanbase and is still very healthy. Fans weren't wrong to be excited about their potential. However, for a litany of different reasons, they have shot themselves in the foot with offensive turnovers.
The Cleveland Browns are the opposite, a team that doesn't have much talent and is very banged up. They might be the most injured team in the NFL this season. However, they've kept games close and have gotten better each week by reducing their mistakes and taking advantage of the mistakes of their opponents. They rank 3rd in the league with 10 interceptions of opposing QBs through 7 games.
If the Chargers want to win this game, they'll have to (uncharacteristically) play mistake-free football and force (uncharacteristic) mistakes from the Browns.