I don’t think the Chargers will lose. If they do struggle, it’ll be because the Chargers couldn’t stop the run. I think stopping the run on defense is one of the most overrated things in football. Pass defense is so much more valuable in today’s game. Using Football Outsiders metrics, the top 5 run defenses are the Broncos, Browns, Eagles, Cardinals & Panthers. The Eagles are the only true “good” team, despite the Panthers record. As far as pass defense goes, the top 5 are the Jaguars, Ravens, Rams, Eagles & the Saints. The Chargers are 6th. Those are all playoff teams. The best teams can create pressure and stop the pass.
The Chargers have a bottom 3 run defense. You can’t really tell, especially since Denzel Perryman has been back. What really hurts defenses is when offenses gash you. Most teams aren’t patient enough to stay with the run. So while the 3 & 4 yards are successful, offensive coordinators get greedy and want chunk plays. So they go to the pass and fail. Below I went over how the Browns have been attacking teams in 4 plays. Their offensive line are very good run blockers. They pave the way and make life easy on Isaiah Crowell & Duke Johnson. The play where Johnson is running away from the line is a popular college scheme called “Bash.”They have some unique concepts to get both runners in space as well. If the Chargers can limit these chunk plays that the Browns get, Sunday shouldn’t be difficult.
Check it out and let me know what you think. Enjoy.
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Up next, I’ll go over how the Chargers should have success through the air against the Browns.