FanPost

2022 Opponent Thread: Cleveland Browns


Football season is nearly upon us and so I've created some short threads on the Chargers' 2022 Opponents to bolster discussion about those teams (and hopefully generate SOME EXCITEMENT!)

A thread on the Cleveland Browns, the Chargers’ 2022 opponent in Week 5 (at Browns).

1. I thought starting a conversation about the Jags was difficult. "Hold my beer" – shout Owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam of the Cleveland Browns.

2. How did the Browns get here? After years of ineptitude, they seemed FINALLY to have generated a team which fans could be proud of behind a firebrand young QB and a smart HC/GM combo who'd led the team to victory against Pittsburgh, and near-victory against KC in the 2020 playoffs.

3. Yet within 12 short months the team sold its proverbial soul to the devil by moving heaven and earth to secure Deshaun Watson – the subject of more than 20 civil lawsuits brought by myriad young women over the same period for sexual harassment/assault – and shattering contract records along the way.

4. The team is now (unsurprisingly) dealing with the PR fallout of that decision in the aftermath of the 11-game suspension recently imposed upon Watson and which put that sorry saga to bed (at least from an NFL disciplinary perspective). They are reaping what they’ve sowed.

5. The cultural consequences of the Watson move may yet be profound. Will his teammates embrace as their leader a man who has shown zero remorse for his actions nor any evidence of earnest self-reflection? Will Watson ever be the same player he was in Houston? These are the great unknowns.

6. On paper at least, the Browns – although not perfect – are still loaded with talent. Last season they led the league in rush yards per attempt (5.1 yards) behind Chubb, Hunt and Johnson while allowing the 5th least points on Defense. They are a well-balanced and carefully constructed team.

7. The RB room has arguably only become stronger (with the addition of Jerome Ford) and the Defense should be as formidable boasting the same pass rush that finished 9th in sacks in 2021 (despite blitzing the 10th least frequently).

8. The talent does not end there with a dangerous secondary (Ward, Newsome, Greedy, Delpit, John Johnson), outstanding OL and a young LB in JOK who flashed star potential in his rookie year. While the cupboard is half-empty at WR, this roster is ready to win right now.

9. And therein the problem lies. Can this team survive Watson’s suspension unscathed or will the deep hole likely to be dug in the interim doom their season? And if 2022 is doomed, will the Browns’ roster ever be this talented again as Watson’s cap hits begins to take full effect?

10. From a Chargers perspective, they meet the Browns at the right time of the season in Wk 5. With Jacoby Brissett (or Josh Rosen) under Center, the Bolts should mark this game down as a comfortable victory on their calendar.

I feel sorry for Browns fans. I know which team I'd rather be supporting.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Bolts From The Blue community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bolts From The Blue editors or SB Nation.