Next week signals the start of the NFL season for the Cleveland Browns.
Their first game has them facing their former starting quarterback, Baker Mayfield.
With Mayfield fired up, in part by sports analyst Cynthia Frelund, it’s going to be a fight for Cleveland to win this game.
However, there are three key things the Browns must do to walk away victorious over the Carolina Panthers.
3. Start With Healthy Dose Of The Browns Running Backs
With Jacoby Brissett getting the start because of Deshaun Watson’s suspension, the Browns must rely on their running backs.
They have three of the best running backs in the NFL in Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and D’ Ernest Johnson.
Even people who aren’t Browns fans realize how good their backfield is with those three players.
Browns have 3 good running backs they really don’t need a quarterback
— Brent Hall (@losingbettor) July 6, 2022
However, it’s on the Browns’ coaching staff to call plays focusing on these players.
Whether they need them in the running game or for quick passes, these three can do it all.
Starting the game slowly with them gives Brissett time to build up confidence.
His history as a starting quarterback shows he needs a ground game to help him get comfortable.
However, the Browns can’t rely only on the running game, as defenses will sniff that out.
That’s why they need to have a short dump-and-go passing game to these backs to keep defenses guessing.
2. Add In Some Hurry-Up Offense On Drives
The Panthers defense can easily fall to the Browns if Brissett can handle a hurry-up offensive play style.
Fans have seen the best NFL quarterbacks using the hurry-up offense to keep the defense on their heels.
I'm so spoiled watching Tom Brady run the hurry up offense..bro makes it look to easy compared to so many quarterbacks
— brian (@briannh21) January 12, 2014
Tom Brady, among many other elite quarterbacks, has thrived from using the hurry-up offense.
However, it requires Brissett to be accurate with his passes.
For the hurry-up to work with him as the Browns quarterback, they can’t use it until he develops a rhythm.
Only after this should the Browns deploy this type of offensive play calling.
1. Browns Defense Must Hold Off Mayfield And Company
If the Browns want any chances of winning versus Mayfield and the Panthers, their defense must hold him off.
They can’t allow him to get into a comfort zone.
That’s why defensive stars like Myles Garrett need to disrupt the backfield.
However, Christian McCaffrey is another player the Browns need to put eyes on in this game.
He’s a threat when playing games for the Panthers.
When he’s in the backfield, defenses can’t ignore him.
The Browns can’t rule out Mayfield using McCaffrey for completing quick passes.
If they allow him to dunk off these short yardage plays, they could turn into longer plays.
While Garrett needs to pressure Mayfield, they need Denzel Ward to shut down any receivers Mayfield might look towards for downfield plays.
Jadeveon Clowney will also be key, if he’s medically cleared to play in this game.
However, the rest of the Browns’ defense must work with these three key players.
They can easily get chances to disrupt Mayfield and McCaffrey behind those players.