I’m a Browns fan, that’s why I’m watching. Last week, the Browns defeated the Steelers 29-17 and the Falcons beat the Seahawks 27-23. The Browns travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons for a 1:00 pm (EST) game this Sunday. At the start of the 2022 NFL season, this game looked like a relatively easy game. Not anymore. With the wealth of injuries to the Browns defense and the capabilities of the Atlanta offense, the Browns may need to score thirty to win. What am I watching?
Browns Offense Vs. Falcons Defense. The Atlanta defense is ranked 22nd in the NFL allowing 381 yards, 271 yards passing, 109 yards rushing and 27 points a game. Their defense is led in tackles by LB Rashaan Evans with 25 tackles and in sacks by DE Grady Jarrett with 2.5. As a team, the Falcons are a minus two in turnover ratio. The game plan for the Browns offense should be the same as the first three games. Run the ball with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, quick passing by Jacoby Brissett to Amari Cooper and David Njoku. As with the Steelers, set up one or two deep routes with the play action. The Browns offense is currently ranked fifth in the NFL averaging 379 yards a game, 188 yards passing, 191 yards rushing (number one in the NFL) and 28 points per game. Njoku has the potential to build on his big game against the Steelers. Atlanta has allowed 19 catches on 24 targets, 221 yards through the first three games to opposing tight ends, seventh most in the NFL. The Falcons defense is also allowing 4.8 yards per catch (tied for 21st) and a 71.9 completion percentage (last in the league).
Browns Defense Vs. Falcons Offense. The Atlanta offense is ranked fourteenth in the league averaging 354 yards per game, 198 yards passing, 157 yards rushing and 27 points per game. They’re led at quarterback by Marcus Mariota who is 50 of 79, for 640 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. He’s been sacked six times and has a QBR of 85.4. He also has 92 yards rushing, second on the team. Mariota’s favorite targets are TE Kyle Pitts and WR Drake London. London leads Atlanta in receiving yards at 214 yards. Both are big targets, London is 6’4″ and Pitts is 6’6″. The Falcons are led in rushing by former return man Cordarrelle Patterson with 302 yards. In the first three games, he’s averaging 100.7 yards. Mariota also has a reliable third-down receiver in former Brown KhaDarel Hodge. Cleveland is currently ranked fourteenth in the league allowing 323 yards per game, 240 yards passing, 84 yards rushing and 24 points per game. They are a plus two in turnover ratio. The Browns defense will need to slow down the Atlanta offense by containing Mariota. He has attempted the fifth most rushes among all NFL quarterbacks. Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome will have to keep track of London. As for Pitts, linebackers Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Jacob Phillips and Sione Takitaki will have to help the secondary in coverage. So far, the Browns have been good at stopping the run. Stop the run and force Mariota to make a mistake with pressure, whether it be inside or outside. Defensive coordinator Joe Woods might have to dial up a few more safety blitzes.
On offense, keep doing what you’re doing because it’s worked the last two games. I would like to see more screen passes. On defense, it looks like the younger players are going to have to step up. DT Tommy Togiai is in for DT Taven Bryant. DE Jadeveon Clowney is listed as questionable and DE Myles Garrett is listed as out, so DEs Alex Wright, Isaiah Thomas, Curtis Weaver and Isaac Rochell will fill in and hopefully DT Perrion Winfrey will make an impact. The Browns secondary is going to have to play its best game so far. Enjoy the game.