The Los Angeles Chargers need to win out to guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs this season, but given that they started the season with four consecutive losses, it is remarkable that they control their own destiny in Week 13. Standing in their way this afternoon are the winless Cleveland Browns. The Chargers are in no danger of taking the Browns lightly after last season when they gave the Browns their lone win of the 2016-17 NFL season on Christmas Eve.
Philip Rivers and the offense will be facing a defense that has a stout defensive line but little else to fear. Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler will likely struggle to find room if Ken Whisenhunt’s game plan calls for running between the tackles, but they may be able to have success on the edge. Regardless, the Browns lack anyone capable of covering Keenan Allen or Hunter Henry, so the Chargers ought to be able to move the ball and score.
On defense, the Chargers led by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram will face a bad Cleveland offense. Deshone Kizer is not an NFL quarterback at this point in time, but he has some exciting weapons in Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman, and Duke Johnson. The most interesting matchups today will be Coleman and Gordon against the Chargers corners.
Ultimately, the Chargers should win this game, but the Browns do present certain challenges and they did win the last matchup.