What should be the offensive game plan?
The Cleveland Browns are in a tough spot with Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt sidelined with injuries this week. What should the game plan be?
The Cleveland Browns are in one of the worst places in the NFL this week. While some teams have struggled with the injury virus this season, the Browns have had an infestation on their hands.
Cleveland currently has 11 players listed as questionable or absent for their Thursday night game against the Denver Broncos. While the Broncos are a team the Browns could easily handle with a healthy squad, the game seems almost impossible to win with the injury situation at hand.
Some of the names making the injured list this week include Baker Mayfield (Released), Nick Chubb (Released), Kareem Hunt (IR), Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (IR), Odell Beckham Jr. (Questionable), Jadeveon Clowney ( Questionable), Jack Conklin (Questionable) and AJ Green (Released).
With the Broncos lacking the most intimidating offense and with most of the Browns’ key players healthy enough to adjust on Thursday, defense isn’t too much of a concern.
However, it can be argued that the three most important players on the attacking side of the ball will be out for the Browns on Thursday.
Case Keenum will fit in in Baker Mayfield’s place, and Cleveland will likely execute a rotation from D’Ernest Johnson and Demetric Felton to the running back.
Cleveland being the most executed dominant offense over the past two seasons, they’ll need to completely overhaul their entire offense for the foreseeable future.
If the Browns were lucky enough to have a healthy starting quarterback, they could focus more on the passing game. However, because the football gods are currently making do with Cleveland, that is not possible.
Instead, the Browns will have to rely heavily on their receivers to gain post-catch yards, as Keenum likely won’t look too deep into the field as Keenum has only attempted 13 passes in the past two seasons combined. Plus, with the longest pass he’s thrown with the Browns measuring just 24 yards, it’s likely the game plan will have to be short passes and checks and hope receivers or fullbacks can do something about it. once the ball is in their hands.
Cleveland may be able to find offensive relief in D’Ernest Johnson this week. While he didn’t make big numbers in his three years with the Browns, he was very effective when he touched. His yards per carry were 5.3 in his rookie year, 5.0 in his sophomore year, but have dropped to 3.7 this season.
In addition, rookie Demetric Felton will have his big chance to prove himself this week. Despite being listed as a running back, Felton has yet to throw the ball once. Instead, he’s only gained yards through receptions so far this point in the year. That will likely change this week out of sheer necessity, however, he has incredible speed that has already been demonstrated this season. If the block is fair on a play, it shouldn’t come as a shock if Felton rushes in for a long touchdown.
While there isn’t much the Browns can do offensively this week in terms of game planning, they should be looking to move the ball through manageable short passes for Keenum and rely on young talent. at the ball carrier position.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Kevin Stefanski dig deep into his bag of tricks and pull out a handful of tricks this week. As this will end up being a very low scoring game, even a touchdown on a trick play could end up winning the game for Cleveland.
Stefanski will be put to the test this week and as the reigning Coach of the Year, winning a prime-time game with the whole country watching given the injuries suffered by the Browns would do a lot to make his case repeating itself.