If the Cleveland Browns want to make a return to the NFL playoffs, they need to make some adjustments this season.
While their playoff visit during the 2020-21 season was the first since the 2002-03 season, they can make it back again this season.
However, it’s all about the key things to do to make this return.
So what are the three main things the Browns can do to return to the playoffs?
3. Improve There Defense In The Red Zone
The Browns defense wasn’t bad last season.
They would rank 13th last season, tied with the Green Bay Packers.
That's because Baker has led the entire NFL in turnovers since joining the league. No team can win consistently like that.
The Browns defense was 13th in the NFL in pts against this past season. Baker has posted (3/4) seasons under.500 record
10-15? Name them. I'll wait.
— Bob (@BobFJB) April 15, 2022
However, the unlucky number would fall on their defense in the red zone.
While the team ranked tenth in red zone attempts, their red zone touchdowns allowed percentage put them at 27th.
They can’t allow easy scores once the team gets put into a position of defending the red zone.
Making teams settle for a field goal, or forcing a turnover, is the outcome they need in these situations.
With Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, and Denzel Ward, there shouldn’t be an excuse for stopping the offense.
Better use of these defensive stars during critical defensive stands will help them return to the playoffs.
2. Use Nick Chubb And D’Ernest Johnson More Often
When you have one of the best run blocking guards in Joel Bitonio, running the ball makes sense.
Adding in Nick Chubb and D’Ernest Johnson to the mix makes the run game a must for the Browns.
These two running backs are some of the best in the NFL with making defender miss tackles.
Chubb leads over 4 years but D’Ernest Johnson led the NFL in forced missed tackles, on a per carry basis, in 2021. D’Ernest also had the NFL’s highest rusher rating and most elusive runner rating in 2021 @DernestJohnson2 @BGSUGibbs @NathanZegura @BeauBishop @TonyGrossi @egoldie80 pic.twitter.com/jyOmg2Cutr
— CamFrom🇨🇦 (@camfromcanada3) April 10, 2022
Using them more often in games could help them get more wins, which means they can make the playoffs.
However, health has been an issue with Chubb lately.
But if he can remain healthy in 2022, then the Browns would be wise to use him the most they can.
He consistently averages five yards or more per carry every season.
Johnson’s average yards per carry are the same as Chubb’s, making them a genuine threat with the ground every game.
1. Browns Need Better Turnover Differential
When the Browns went to the playoffs during the 2020-21 season, they had a +5 turnover differential.
That put them in ninth place in that department.
However, the 2021 season saw them with a -3 turnover differential, ranking them at 20th.
It was a major difference maker in important games.
A four turnover game by the Browns against the Green Bay Packers in 2021 would cost them that game.
With the game coming down to only two points, it shows how turnovers can be critical in games.
While allowing turnovers can hurt the Browns, getting more defensive turnovers can help them.
The Browns defense ended the season tied for 21st in turnovers.
However, their offense would rank 11th in turnovers given up, meaning the defense needs to make adjustments.
While some of the offensive turnovers can be lower with Deshaun Watson as quarterback, it’s up to Ward and the secondary to get more interceptions.
If their defense can change and get more turnovers, a playoff return could be in the Browns’ future.