November 26, 2020

Week 11: Browns vs. Eagles Preview

Photo from https://www.chron.com/sports/texans/article/Nick-Chubb-Kareem-Hunt-Browns-Texans-15729087.php

The Browns are sitting pretty at 6-3 and tied for second in the AFC North standings with the Baltimore Ravens. The Browns won vs. the Texans this past Sunday, but the team is very quickly shifting their focus to hosting the Philadelphia Eagles at First Energy Stadium.

The Philadelphia Eagles did not share the same success like the Browns this past Sunday. They lost to their NFC East division foe, the New York Giants, by a final score of 27-17. The game statistically was a close battle between these two teams. The Eagles had 346 total yards on offense while the Giants had 382. The Eagles had 156 rushing yards while the Giants had 151. Both had around 5.5 yards per play and 22 first downs. However, the Giants had more passing yards (231) than the Eagles (190). The 3rd down efficiency was non-existent for Philadelphia, as they were 0/9 while the Giants were 5/14. Additionally, the Wentz/Jones QB matchup was won by Giants QB Daniel Jones, as he went 21/28, had 244 yards and had a 34 yard TD run. Philly QB Carson Wentz went 21/37 and had 208 passing yards. Although the Eagles lost this division showdown, they still sit at first place atop the NFC East, at 3-5-1.

The Browns came off a bye week and ended up victorious against the Texans this past Sunday in a low scoring, scrappy matchup, 10-7. The game was delayed due to a severe thunderstorm and after the game was put back in play, Browns fans got to see the return of RB Nick Chubb and remind everyone how valuable of a player he is to the offense. He scored a running TD in the 3rd quarter and, of course, had the 59-yard run with 1:07 left in which he purposely went out of bounds at the one-yard line to save the clock, not allow the Texans to get the ball back and win the game. G Wyatt Teller was also back from an injury and played an integral role in making holes and blocking against the Houston D-Line. RB Kareem Hunt also looked healthier coming off the bye with him and Chubb both having over 100 yards running, which is the first time a Browns RB duo has accomplished that since Leroy Kelly and Ernie Green in 1966. QB Baker Mayfield had a decent performance; he was 12/20 for 132 passing yards, but when you have a dynamic running back duo, that’s all the QB had to do. DE Myles Garrett also came up with a sack and four tackles, which was big in shutting down QB Deshaun Watson and the Houston offense. Watson was 20/30, had 163 passing yards and a TD to TE Pharaoh Brown, but that was the only time the Texans put up anything on the board and it was not enough to stop Chubb, Hunt and the Browns offense.

Detrimental news broke from the Cleveland Browns that DE Myles Garrett has tested positive for COVID-19, and is on the reserve/COVID list and will not play in this Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Garrett is the heart and soul of the D-Line and arguably the entire Browns defense. According to PFF, he has an 86.6 PFF grade which is 5th in the league, 89.9 pass-rush grade which is 4th and 40 total pressures which is T-4th in the league. Not to mention he holds the highest amount of sacks in the league with 9.5. This is a huge loss for the Browns defense that already is mediocre with Garrett on the field, but stays in the game due to the DE’s efforts. Also, the Eagles O-Line has had injury problems this year, but they get back LG Isaac Seumalo, a key part to helping the Eagles offense. Moreover, QB Carson Wentz has the most turnover worthy plays in the NFL with 23 (no other QB has more than 13), which is something that if Garrett was playing could expose.

The Eagles defense against the Giants could not get any pressure on the QB, yet the Eagles are 2nd in the league with 41.3%, behind the Steelers’ 47.2%. Luckily, the Browns offensive line and its league-high 88.2 PFF pass-rush grade line can shut down this pressure, especially with Wyatt Teller back. Furthermore, the running game with the Chubb/Hunt duo can do damage to their weaker LB core and secondary, which is something to keep an eye on. Something we haven’t got to see due to the weather circumstances the past two games is QB Baker Mayfield and the WR core have a passing attack and it seems like more the same will ensue, as the weather in Cleveland this Sunday will be rainy, cold and in the mid 40’s. Be prepared to see another running heavy offense in this game.

Although losing Garrett for this game is big, the Browns have to still suit up and play with a next man up mentality. DE Porter Gustin has been quiet since Week 2 against the Bengals, yet with him replacing Myles, that hunger to disrupt the Eagles has to be there and the same goes for all 11 players on the defensive side of the ball. The Browns are locked in a tight pack of AFC with playoff hopes, so there’s no time to let their foot off the gas. Although the Eagles are first place in the worst division in the NFL, they are still a professional football team and suiting up just like the Browns. Be ready to watch an intense game between the Browns and Eagles this Sunday at 1 p.m.!

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