The 6-8 Cleveland Browns host the 5-9 New Orleans Saints in a Week 16 matchup at 1:00 PM EST Saturday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium.
These two teams are statistically evenly matched with points scored, 20.4 for the Saints and 22.4 for the Browns, and points allowed, 22.5 for the Saints and 23.3 for the Browns.
The keys to victory for the Browns are simple.
1. Run The Ball A Lot
Running the ball also extends drives, allows the Browns to own the time of possession, and keeps the game clock moving.
If you are thinking this should be a key to a Browns’ victory every week of the season, you are not wrong; this is not new news.
Saturday’s weather is another factor that contributes to the emphasis on running the ball.
Weather forecast for Cleveland Saturday 🥶 pic.twitter.com/1wP8veaQcH
— Rod Walker (@RodWalkerNola) December 19, 2022
Winds of over 30 miles per hour, frigid temperatures, and a possible snow shower make an ambitious passing game precarious.
2. Stop Alvin Kamara And Taysom Hill
Given the weather conditions, the Saints will have a similar game plan in mind.
The Browns need to stop Alvin Kamara.
“I think we gotta continue to try to figure out creative ways to get him the ball, do some things with him. And let him affect the game” – DA on Alvin Kamara pic.twitter.com/Rx1tXWjOK2
— NOF (@nofnetwork) December 19, 2022
He is a rushing threat and is also capable of making big gains on screen passes and other short pass plays that may be in the Saints’ game plan on Saturday.
There is only one player since the merger to have a career with:
10 Pass TD
10 Rush TD
10 Rec TD
(incl. postseason) pic.twitter.com/ARLgnG8QjQ
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) December 18, 2022
There is also the trickery of Taysom Hill who can snap the ball, run it, or catch short passes that the Browns need to be on guard for.
The team that has a more successful rushing game will most likely win the game.