Bolts & Dawgs

Chargers head to Cleveland to face America’s new favorite sweethearts the stars of HBO’s Hard Knocks, but the Bolts don’t see them as darlings.

If you have football Tourette’s as I do you also watched it, and if your the kind of person or sucker I am you wished they could just get a win, learn or relearn how to. Just like how life sometimes is hard with multiple adversities hit you, you start to expect the shoe to drop, on a personal note I know I have had to shift my thinking to get thru similar hard times.  Human interest or the common rooting for the perpetual underdog, is obsolete in this scenario, the Browns first win this season was the first in 635 days when they beat the Chargers on Christmas Eve 2016.

It’s not a trap game, not for LA.  Although many variables have changed in those days (635) the exclamation point of loosing to the win-less Browns on Christmas Eve is not forgotten and will not be overlooked.

Chargers played their most complete game this season vs. the Raiders last Sunday and are 3-2.  Rank in top offense with yards, both rushing & passing. Phillip Rivers showcasing something special with this team as epitomized Sunday with the celebration TD photo! Quite a rarity! Something cool is brewing with this offense or gelling.

 

Chargers have experience and success with new quarterback’s ( Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and C.J Beathard)  whom also come with little film, they’ve been able to contain, disrupt and pressure them successfully. And vs the run last week the defense contained Marshawn Lynch  to 31 yards, Sunday they will face Carlos Hyde.

The special teams woes addressed with the reuniting of former Eagles teammates, the addition of  Donnie Jones last week however Caleb Sturgis may be out on Sunday and Michael Badgley is on stand by.

The kicking game is one aspect that these two teams have had in common one that both teams have had issues with this season.

The Browns who started the season not with a loss but a tie are at 2-2-1. They have a new king at the helm number one draft pick Baker Mayfield coming in with 3 TDs and 3 INTs whom made his debut in their first win.  Sunday will be his third start, although the hype has been on him, Browns defense led by DC Greg Williams are first in the NFL in takeaways with 15.

The Browns are 2nd in rushing  and their defense 12th allowing 22.9 points a game (reminder they contained Drew Brees and the Saints to 21 points in the 3-point loss). They handed the Ravens their 2nd loss and the Steelers a tie in OT. This team has some grit and probably the most loyal fan base in the NFL, ones whom no matter what the record or the temperatures are at FirstEnergy Stadium. They have a new mascot as well whom showed up at their first win vs. the Jets, a possum, another showed in their win vs. the Ravens.

A few connections

Adrian Phillips played against Baker Mayfield when he was at Texas Tech and Chargers are familiar with Todd Hailey (KC HC 2009-11 and OC Steelers 2012-2017).

 

IMO prediction: Chargers win, no way they go back into Cleveland with this group and not come out with win.

 

 

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