Cleveland is on a 3-game win streak but faces a tough challenge when they travel West for the week 4 Browns at Chargers matchup. That’s two road games in a row for Baker Mayfield and company but they just might have the best defense in the league, something that travels no matter where you play.
L.A. is at home but they also might be in deflate mode after beating division rivals KC (30-24) and Las Vegas (28-14) the last two weeks. In a jam packed AFC West where three teams are 3-1, these are the types of games the Chargers can’t let get away. Oddsmakers have LAC as -2.5 favorites.
Browns Have the Intangibles to Get the Road Win?
Cleveland has the #1 rushing offense in the league (177 ypg) and the #2 total yards defense (250.3 ypg) which is the type of formula that you can use to win ugly. That’s exactly what happened last Sunday when the Browns did just enough to get a 14-7 win at Minnesota as -1 point favorites.
The Browns had 184 rushing yards last week vs. the Vikings which was the perfect game plan to protect Baker Mayfield as the QB plays through an injury to his non-throwing shoulder. That makes the week 5 Browns at Chargers meeting almost an ideal situation for Cleveland, with L.A ranking 29th in the league vs. the run (139.5) but in the top 5 vs. the pass (192.5). Expect the Browns to have the same approach as they did in the 14-7 win over Minnesota.
Myles Garrett and Jadaveon Clowney are both on the injury report with knee ailments, but both are probable to play which is not what Chargers QB Justin Herbert wants to hear. Cleveland forced Kirk Cousins into his worst game of the season so far last Sunday (20/38, 203 yards) and held the Vikings to just 65 yards rushing on 23 carries. The game before that the Browns sacked Bears QB Justin Fields 9 times in a 26-6 win.
Chargers Looking Good
Los Angeles is on the short week after beating the Raiders 28-14 on Monday Night Football. The Chargers were “supposed” to win that game against Las Vegas as -3 point favorites but going into halftime up 21-0 showed a very dominant performance from LAC.
Even while beating the Raiders in primetime was nice, the signature win for the Chargers this season is still the 30-24 win over the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in week 3. The Los Angeles defense gave up 186 yards to Kansas City even in the win, but that’s still a concern when Cleveland comes to town.
The Los Angeles offense is a top 6 passing team in the league through the first month, but it was their running game behind 117 yards from Austin Ekeler that sealed the deal vs. the Raiders. Justin Herbert also has 7 TD to 0 INT the last two weeks so the Chargers can also move the ball just fine through the air as well.
Week 5 Browns at Chargers Matchup
This contest is definitely a close one to call as the Browns are playing well but are also traveling cross country in their second consecutive road game. Los Angeles is on a roll but also due for an emotional letdown after huge wins over division foes the Raiders and Chiefs the last two weeks.
LAC being on a short week and with the Browns able to pound the ball on the run and get after you on defense gives Cleveland the edge in this play.
Browns 26- Chargers 19
Free Pick: Browns +2.5