MNF PREVIEW: BROWNS @ NINERS (OCT. 7, 2019)
CAN NINERS STAY ONLY OTHER UNDEFEATED TEAM LEFT WITH PATRIOTS?
VEGAS ODDS: SAN FRAN NINERS (-5) —–vs. CLEVELAND BROWNS ~ TOTAL (47 or 47 1/2)
Well the Undefeated teams in the NFL are now done to just two. Oc course the Patriots are one, but the Niners are the other (3-0), getting helped a tad bit by the “BYE” week last week and so early in the season.
Coming into this season the buzz all Off season was the two new teams to finally crash the Playoff Party was both the Browns and Niners. The Niners real ? mark was QB J. Garappolo and how would be fare off the season ending surgery and missed 2018 season. Well he hasn’t been spectacular, but he’s done enough to be (3-0). The Browns really go as QB Baker Mayfield goes. They are (2-2) but last week took a giant step forward scoring 40 points and the entire Offense finally clicked. Mayfield still though has thrown 6 interceptions to only 4 TD passes.
The Niners have been elite really with the leagues #3 Defense and #4 Offense overall. They say if you can run the ball well and stop the run you usually will come out victorious. Well the Niners are #1 Rushing team in the NFL, rushing for 175 yards per game. On Defense, they are #4 stopping the Run, allowing only 75 yards per game and no single RB has gained 75 yards or more yet and no opposing RB has scored a TD on them yet. They will be tested their most yet vs. Browns stud RB Nick Chubb, as the first 3 teams they played, (TB, Cinci and Pitt), all have had multiple injury problems in the games played vs. SF so far. The Niners though have held opposing RB’s to just (3.3) yards per carry.
San Fran, along with Buffalo and Tennessee, are one of the 3 teams not to allow over 20 points all year long. The Browns, before last weeks high scoring barrage, had only scored 13, 13 and 23 in their other 3 games.
This Browns team is hard to handicap. Their Defense has 14 Sacks and 4 interceptions thru 4 games, but they also as a team have committed an insane 56 penalties. Mayfield doesn’t have a 2 TD Passing game yet. Their Stud DE M. Garrett had no sacks last week, yet that was their biggest win of season. Now he will face a SF Offensive Line that has allowed Garoppolo to be sacked only 2x all season.
San Fran’s Offense is also struggling badly in the Red Zone, and vs. 3 bottom feeder Defenses, non ranked higher than #19 (42%).
KEY PARTS MISSING FOR THIS MNF CONTEST:
San Fran will be without CB Witherspoon, who has played extremely well so far. He will be replaced by CB E. Moseley, making his first NFL start of his career. The Niners will also be without Pro Bowl LT Staley and replaced by young backup Justin Skule. The really bad news about this change in the OL for the Niners is poor Skule will be facing Browns elite DE Garrett all night and he’s gonna be very motivated after getting no sacks last week.
INTERESTING NOTE TO THINK ABOUT:
The Browns DC is Steve Wilks. You may ask so what’s the interesting note? Last year Wilks was HC of the Arizona Cardinals, a team that swept the Niners. I watched those two tapes again. How did he stop the Niners Offense? He simply loaded the Box and made the Niners QB’s beat them. Well clearly they couldn’t do it and he now has an even better overall Defensive Unit this year with the Browns. Wilks Cards Defense last year faced QB Beathard 2x, sacking him 8x and turning the Niners over 6x! HC Shanahan clearly knows that, and I fully expect him to throw lots screens to the running backs and lots of play action to offset Garrett and company’s hard rush. This theory also helps young OL Skule too from being asked to block Garrett for too long.
THE TAPE DOES “NOT” LIE:
The most amazing turnaround by any player I’ve watched on tape is the Niners LB Kwon Alexander. For the Bucs he missed what seemed like every tackle. Now with the Niners this year, he hasn’t missed one tackle. There is something to be said about new surroundings. Also this SF DL is very deep, so they should be fresh throughout. They need to get their best game all year from the DL, as this Niners secondary is way over matched by the Browns talented wide outs. Mayfield is streaky too, so if they never let him get into a nice “zone”, he will get frustrated and force passes into tight coverage just to make a play.
TOP TRENDS FOR THIS M.N.F. AFFAIR:
1). SAN FRAN – (0-5) ATS in it’s last 5 as the Favorite.
2). SAN FRAN- (1-9) ATS as a Favorite since 2015.
3). BROWNS QB MAYFIELD- (5-1) on the Road as Browns starting QB.
4). BROWNS- (4-0) ATS last 4 on the Road.
5). NINERS- (0-6) ATS last 6 seasons following their “BYE” week.
The Niners look to stay as the only unbeaten team besides the Patriots. Well folks, the Patriots have allowed a league low 34 points. Second best points allowed is San Fran, who have only allowed 54 points so far. The Niners are well rested, and the Browns are forced to make the long trip across two time zones. The Browns finally showed us what the whole world (except me) thought they’d be this year on Offense last week against a injury riddled Ravens secondary. Now they catch the Niners missing a key CB piece. All in all these two teams both still have young QB’s and are pretty dead even in talent across the board. In these games, it’s teams who win the turnover battle that usually win. But the Browns penalty machine could surely offset that as they simply may be the dumbest team at times committing penalties at the most inopportune times. This will be really whether SF Head Coach Shanahan can do better then he did last year vs. Wilks Browns Defense. Look for short and quick passes from Jimmy G all game long and can this Niners Defense hold up vs. the very talented Browns receivers. This game likely stays close throughout and we will learn if Baker Mayfield has reached the next level or if he’s still just a big namer who hasn’t done one thing yet (see Kirk “Never Won a Big game” Cousins).