The 2-1 Cleveland Browns travel to Atlanta to take on the 1-2 Falcons on Sunday, October 2, 2022, at 1:00 PM EDT.
This is a Week 4 matchup that has the Browns favored by oddsmakers, but it is by no means a gimme game.
Here are three keys to a Browns win over the Falcons.
1. Run The Ball Successfully
Nick Chubb is off to an excellent start, and this is no accident.
The Browns have made a concerted effort to use that top-notch offensive line to create holes for both Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
#NFL Top 5 Rushing Leaders
1. #Browns Nick Chubb – 341 yards
2. #Falcons Cordarrelle Patterson – 302 yards
3. #Colts Jonathan Taylor – 286 yards
4. #Ravens Lamar Jackson – 243 yards
5. #Panthers Christian McCaffrey – 243 yards
7. #Giants Saquon Barkley plays on MNF – 236 yds pic.twitter.com/8DsJckFWHm
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) September 26, 2022
The results have been outstanding as Chubb is among the league’s rushing leaders through three games.
2. Play Better On Special Teams
It is not an understatement that the Browns have been shaky on special teams through three games.
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) September 23, 2022
#Browns HC Kevin Stefanski on special teams issues: "We need to get better in a bunch of areas on our football team…that's part of what today was. A lot of it always goes back to technique and fundamentals."
— 92.3 The Fan (@923TheFan) September 26, 2022
Cade York‘s leg won the Week 1 game over the Carolina Panther with a huge field goal.
However, it is the extra points that have tripped the rookie up ever since.
He has missed two, one in each of the home games in Weeks 2 and 3.
The kick return game has also been suspect.
Two bobbled onside kicks have ensued in Weeks 2 and 3.
The special teams should spend the next 10 days working on recovering onside kicks…#Browns
— Brandon Wolf (@BrandonWolfCLE) September 23, 2022
There is also the lack of any legitimate returns threat.
Flat special teams play needs to be rectified starting in Week 4.
3. Don’t Give Up Big Defensive Plays
Letting teams back into games is not a practice the Browns’ defense wants to engage in as the season goes on.
Through 2 games, the #Browns rank 7th in offensive efficiency, 27th in defensive efficiency and 20th in special teams efficiency
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) September 19, 2022
The Falcons have a talented offense that includes veteran Cordarrelle Patterson who has rushed for over 100 yards in two of the Falcons’ three games.
Cordarrelle Patterson shakes loose for the Falcons TD!
— NFL (@NFL) September 25, 2022
Stopping the Falcons’ running game will be necessary to shorten the Falcons’ offensive drives and get the Browns’ defense off the field.
Top-graded Falcons in week three against the Seahawks:
1. Kyle Pitts – 93.2
2. Chris Lindstrom – 90.4
3. Richie Grant – 86.4
Kyle Pitts has arrived 🍿 pic.twitter.com/GlgOjDMlVQ
— PFF ATL Falcons (@PFF_Falcons) September 26, 2022
Containing Pitts when the Falcons choose to target him will be imperative also.
Generally speaking, this defense will have a hard time replacing Anthony Walker Jr. as he was a captain and the defensive signal caller.
The Browns’ next-man-up mentality is once again in play, and Jacob Phillips will get an opportunity to shine.
Let’s not fool ourselves.
This team could easily be 3-0, and we would be on Cloud 9.
However, Week 3 on Thursday night was a strong test of character for the 2022 Browns.
Welp #Browns offense looks legit so far… defense leaves a lot to be desired and special teams have been terrible… got some work to do but 2-1 isn’t a bad start.. Go Browns
— Mullins… Dawg Pound (@62010Mullins) September 26, 2022
And they came out with the win to lift this team to 2-1.
There can be no post-Steelers letdown against an NFC opponent.
The season will only get more difficult so this team needs to fix its issues and improve each week.