The Washington Football team is looking to get back in the win column after falling to the Arizona Cardinals 30-15 last week. Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins proved to be too much for Washington, who dipped to 1-1 on the season.
This week presents a new challenge when Washington travels to Cleveland for a matchup against the Browns. Cleveland is coming off a 35-30 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, improving to 1-1 on the young season. This is going to be a game won in the trenches of both offensive and defensive lines.
- Spread: Cleveland -6.5
- Over/Under: 44.5
Cleveland leads the all-time series 33-12-1. The last time these two teams met was in 2016 when Washington was victorious 31-20.
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- Defensive ends Ryan Kerrigan (toe) and Ryan Anderson (shin) and linebacker Thomas Davis (calf) were all full participants in practice on Thursday after missing practice on Wednesday.
- Cornerback Kendall Fuller was not listed on the injury report for two consecutive, so all signs are pointing to him making his season debut Sunday in Cleveland.
- Wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. was limited on Thursday with a toe injury. Offensive tackles Morgan Moses (ankle) and rookie Saahdiq Charles (thigh) did not participate on Thursday.
- Browns CB Greedy Williams (shoulder) has been ruled out and fellow corner Denzel Ward (groin) is questionable.
- Cleveland will be without DE Olivier Vernon and LB Jacob Phillips
- LB Mack Wilson and DE Adrian Clayborn are both questionable for Sunday’s contest.
On the flip side, Washington boasts one of the most fearsome pass rushes in the NFL and will certainly be a huge test for the Browns offensive line.
Washington has done a great job of getting to the quarterback and leads the league in sacks with 11, eight of which came in the season opener against Carson Wentz and the Eagles.
Back to the ground game of Cleveland. As a team, Cleveland is second in the league with 176.5 yards per game and 5.2 yards per carry. Chubb leads the way with 184 yards and two scores while Hunt isn’t too far behind at 158 and a touchdown. Washington is giving up 108.5 yards per game and 4.4 yards per carry.
Washington’s defensive front, led by No. 2 overall pick Chase Young, will have to continue to be disruptive by plugging the running lanes and applying pressure to Baker Mayfield. They have to make it as uncomfortable as possible and add to the sack total, which won’t be an easy task as Cleveland has allowed just two sacks through two games.
Another key battle is going to be the Cleveland pass rush versus the Washington offensive line.
Myles Garrett leads a lethal pass rush who is good at stopping the run, who allows 89.5 yards per game on the ground and give up 3.3 yards per carry. Washington is one of the bottom-10 in the league averaging 98.5 yards per game and 3.3 yards per carry. If Cleveland is able to maintain this good play, Washington will have to look towards Dwayne Haskins Jr. to make some plays against a shaky secondary.
Cleveland only has five sacks as a defensive unit, but apply pressure and get to the quarterback. It is vital for Washington to keep Haskins upright or this could spell for a long afternoon.
Washington is a 6.5-point underdog against the Browns this weekend. Washington has been the underdog in all three games this season. If Cleveland continues to have success on the ground to open up the play-action for Mayfield, Sunday might not be the game that Washington gets back in the win column. This game will be a lot closer if the likes of Chubb and Hunt can be slowed down.
Odds via GambetDC.