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Led by rookie backup quarterback Justin Fields, the Chicago Bears were able to secure a three-point win over the shaky Bengals in Week 2 thanks to three key interceptions by Chicago’s fearsome defense, but now that starting quarterback Andy Dalton has a tweaked knee, it could be up to his rookie backup Justin Fields to face the dangerous Browns defensive front.
Cleveland may have beaten the Houston Texans in Week 2 by a score of 31-21, but the Browns defense looked soft in the first half, plus a knee injury to star receiver Jarvis Landry made them look vulnerable for much of that win, and now it’s up to a slightly banged up Baker Mayfield (shoulder) and running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to manhandle the Bears at home.
These two teams have met each other 16 previous times, with the Cleveland Browns winning 9 of those games and the Chicago Bears winning 7 of the games.
Ever since the Bears moved on from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, they have been struggling to figure out which player they want to start under center, the candidates for 2021 being veterans Andy Dalton or Nick Foles or the rookie phenom Justin Fields.
Now that Dalton hurt his knee in Week 2 and is listed questionable for this Browns matchup, expect the young rookie, Fields, to get the nod if Dalton can’t go despite the experience that onetime Super Bowl MVP Foles brings to the table.
The former OSU quarterback has 8 completions so far in this 2-game Bears season, along with just a 53.3 completion percentage that doesn’t give anyone much faith, although his mobility outside the pocket has had impatient Bears fans clamoring for HC Matt Nagy to start him.
Despite the Browns bring back their entire offense from last year, the majority of Cleveland’s defense is brand new, and their lack of playing time together is showing in these first two games of the season.
Their defensive line has been slow to get at the two quarterbacks they have faced, with defensive ends Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney each expected to get double-digit sacks or close to it.
The Browns secondary features rookie first-round pick CB Greg Newsome along with CB Denzel Ward, plus there have been several offseason free-agent pickups (LB Malcolm Smith, S Ronnie Harrison, S John Johnson) who with a few more reps together should make Cleveland’s defense one of the best in the league.
Now in his third NFL season, Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery will play an important role on his team’s offense this Sunday since the quarterback position seems currently up in the air due to Dalton’s knee injury.
The rushing attack of the Bears this season is ranked eighth in the league after two games averaging 128.5 yards on the ground each week so far.
The Browns do well against the run, allowing just 77.5 yards on the ground per game so far this season, so Chicago will need a big game out of Montgomery, who averages 4.7 yards per carry this year if they expect to come away from Cleveland with a win.
Anyone who watched the Browns beat the Texans in Week 2 remembers the impressive play starring rookie receiver/running back Demetric Felton, the talented player earning YACs (yards after the catch) by spinning and twisting his way around multiple defenders for a touchdown.
The UCLA alum also serves as the Browns return man, so far with three kickoff and four punt returns on the season, averaging 20.5 yards per kickoff return and 7.33 yards per punt return while exhibiting the speed and mobility of a playmaker.
Able to line up as a running back or a wide receiver, Felton gives Browns HC Kevin Stefanski and QB Baker Mayfield plenty of potential ways to use him, so look for this young player to flash on Sunday, especially while stars Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry are still off the field getting healthy.
|Bears vs Browns Information
|Chicago Bears vs Cleveland Browns
|FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio
|Sunday, September 26, 2021; 1:00 PM ET
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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