Washington Football Team vs. Browns preview, matchups, score prediction
By Ian Cummings
We all know Washington’s offense has been bad, but the total offense numbers through two weeks encapsulate just how inefficient they’ve been. Two weeks into the regular season, the Washington offense is second-to-last in the league in total yardage, with the New York Jets being the lone team behind them.
Luckily for Washington, the Cleveland Browns have one of the bottom-16 defenses in the league in terms of yardage allowed, and they have an array of injuries up and down their defensive unit. But even short-staffed, the Cleveland Browns have the type of X-factor talent needed to throw the Washington Football Team off balance.
The most pivotal matchups are predicated on those X-factors. How Dwayne Haskins fares in his third 2020 game is obviously of great importance, but on the individual level, there are a couple matchups that stand out, in regards to impacting the final result most directly.
On the offensive line, Geron Christian will have his toughest opponent yet, after facing Josh Sweat in Week 1 and All-Pro edge rusher Chandler Jones in Week 2. Week 3 will pit him against Myles Garrett. Christian, despite an up-and-down affair against Arizona, performed better than expected, but he’ll have to be on top of his game if he wants to quell Garrett’s explosive athleticism at the line.
Elsewhere, Cleveland’s next best defensive player, Denzel Ward, will battle with Washington’s leading receiver, Terry McLaurin. McLaurin, through two weeks, is on pace for 96 catches, 1,488 yards, and eight scores, and in this offense, that’s an impressive feat. But targets are starting to funnel to him, and against Cleveland, Denzel Ward might limit the amount of clearance he gets.
Consequently, one of Washington’s other target leaders, Logan Thomas, will be important in shouldering some of the load for McLaurin and producing more on top of his allotted targets.