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The Browns seem to have fixed their defensive communication problems and their rushing attack is unstoppable so take them to cover over the Falcons in Atlanta.
This NFL Week 4 cross-conference matchup has plenty of sports betting potential as the AFC North ruling Cleveland Browns face off against the NFC South’s Atlanta Falcons, two teams with impressive rushing attacks led by quarterbacks looking to find their next football franchise.
The 2-1 Cleveland Browns should be undefeated were it not for a serious miscommunication in their Week 2 defense against the NY Jets, but still they sit atop the AFC North as their temporary QB Jacoby Brissett rocks and their two star RBs Nick, Chubb and Kareem Hunt, roll.
Last week, the Atlanta Falcons won their first game of the season thanks to great production from dual threat RB Cordarrelle Patterson (18 touches, 153 total yds, TD) helping his QB Marcus Mariota during his NFL rebirth along with TE Kyle Pitts and rookie WR Drake London.
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No telling what the Browns offense will be like once QB Deshaun Watson gets under center in Week 12, but for now, it’s his backup Jacoby Brissett who is taking the starting snaps and so far he has done what his predecessor Baker Mayfield failed to do which is to run the system well.
That is HC Kevin Stefanski’s offensive system, one that depends on the QB being capable of rifling the football to the open receiver in the few seconds that window is open, and Brissett has been excellent and getting better, so far completing 66.3 percent of his attempted passes.
Brissett and Stefanski are working out a balance between the passing attack featuring WR Amari Cooper and TE David Njoku and the rushing game that stars the best-ranked RB duo in the league, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, who together are a defense’s 4th quarter nightmare.
Atlanta Falcons DC Dean Pees will have his hands full game planning against this multi-talented Cleveland Browns offense that can hurt you with deep threat receiver Cooper, field slashing TE Njoku, or the two-headed backfield rushing monster nicknamed CHUNT, RBs Chubb and Hunt.
Collectively, they are all a problem for the Falcons to consider, their defensive front line also about to get hammered by one of the top NFL lines featuring All-Pro guard Joel Bitonio, so DE Ta’Quon Graham and his D-line have to hope that their secondary can hold their coverage.
The Falcons defense is ranked 20th in the league, allowing teams to score 27 points and gain over 380 total yards per game, a squad that will have to multi-task on Sunday as they defend against the Browns’ top-5 multi-functional offensive attack that hits hard from everywhere.
All eyes are on Browns star DE Myles Garrett who was in an automobile accident earlier this week that totaled his Porsche but left him with no life-threatening injuries after he swerved to avoid hitting an animal, so right now he is listed as questionable to play on Sunday.
Assuming Garrett does suit up in Atlanta, what he brings to the defense is a bone-crushing attack at the line where he runs circles around offensive tackles and guards as his body stays horizontal to the turf and his long arms take QBs down, so far with 3 sacks on the season.
Garrett only needs one more sack to become the Browns franchise sack leader and, with Falcons QB Mariota having already been sacked 6 times this season (three times in each of the last two games), it’s highly likely that Myles will earn that all-time Browns distinction on Sunday.
After the Atlanta Falcons moved on from longtime franchise QB Matt Ryan (Indy Colts) in the offseason, backup Marcus Mariota was named starter under center, a veteran team leader who started in league as a Tennessee Titan who is no doubt thrilled to have another shot at a team.
This is Mariota’s 8th NFL season and the former Oregon star and Heisman Trophy winner will turn 29 right before Halloween this year, a 6’ 4” 222-pound scrambler from Hawaii already with impressive career stats – 80 TDs for 14,077 yards and 48 INTs completing 63% of his passes.
Mariota can also hurt you with his legs having posted 1,666 rushing yards and 15 TDs over his eight pro seasons, so watch for him to run when he is not handing or throwing the ball to dual-threat RB Cordarrelle Patterson or hitting TE Kyle Pitts for the checkdown YAC opportunity.
|What||Cleveland Browns vs Atlanta Falcons|
|Where||Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA|
|When||Sunday, October 1, 2022; 1:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||CBS|
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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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