San Francisco will bring the NFC’s leading defense to stop the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
And they are probably salivating at the notion of facing a backup quarterback behind a battered offensive line.
Cleveland counters with the best defense in the AFC against a multifaceted offense that seems unstoppable.
But 49ers beat writer Jack Hammer warns that the Browns are the current home of Kyle Shanahan’s biggest nemesis.
🚨Kyle Shanahan has faced Jim Schwartz 9 times. Shanahan is 1-8 in those matchups and his offense has scored over 20 points just once.
As the Falcons OC in 2016 Shanahan’s offense averaged 33.9 points through the first 9 games.
In game 10 they faced the Eagles with Schwartz as…
— Jack Hammer (@JackHammer_NFL) October 11, 2023
Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz holds a 1-8 record against the Niners head coach.
Shanahan’s 2016 Atlanta Falcons offense averaged 33.9 points per game before running into a Schwartz-led defense.
The Eagles held Atlanta to 15 points in that Week 10 matchup.
With questions at quarterback and along the offensive line, not much is expected of the Browns offense.
They already own the third-worst passing attack before possibly starting their third QB in five games.
Cleveland’s defense is the best hope of stealing a win against the consummate Super Bowl favorite.
And Schwartz knows that means stopping more than just one or two players.
Cleveland Browns defense average yards per play allowed through 4 weeks:
2022: 6.0 (25th)
2023: 3.7 (1st)
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) October 4, 2023
Dallas absolutely shut down Christian McCaffrey last week to the tune of 2.7 yards per carry.
But they still lost, 42-10, with everybody else chipping in.
Schwartz’s defense has to shut down their wideouts, stifle a resurgent George Kittle, and contain McCaffrey.
Their 10th meeting will be Schwartz’s biggest challenge against Shanahan and his offensive juggernaut.