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Los Angeles Chargers 38, Cleveland Browns 14
Baker Mayfield made some nice plays, but he also struggled with consistency. Even though the Browns offensive line did a pretty good job blocking the Chargers pass-rush, Mayfield looked far from comfortable in the pocket and seemingly did not trust the blocking.
There was not a whole lot of highlights for the Browns offense, however, wide receiver Damion Ratley had some nice catches down the field for the Browns.
The loss to the Chargers will not make the list of memorable performances for the up-and-coming Browns defense. However, edge defender Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward put together solid performances that will be overshadowed by the game result. Garrett batted a pass and collected a pair of hits on Rivers, and Ward added a pass breakup while covering Mike Williams.
The Browns' run defense struggled all afternoon, and the unit allowed Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler to average a combined 6.8 yards per carry. A brutal Week 8-10 schedule will bring some of the leagues top running backs into play, and the Browns will end up entirely overmatched unless significant changes take place.
Wide receiver Tyrell Williams played well this afternoon. He was targeted four times, and the Western Oregon alumni made a trio of acrobatic catches in traffic and took two into the end zone.
Rivers’ numbers may not match the fact that the offense scored 38 points on the road, and he can thank the running game for that. Outside of a drop on a designed slant screen that bounced into the hands of Browns' linebacker Christian Kirksey, Melvin Gordon had a tremendous day and dictated the pace of play from beginning to end.
Chargers defensive back Desmond King had an unbelievable performance. He finished with two interceptions, but he also blanketed his assigned receivers in coverage.
The Chargers secondary as a whole had multiple pass breakups, and the front four was able to get to consistent pressure on Mayfield. Overall, it was a great team performance by the Chargers defense.
Keys to the Game:
Cleveland: Mayfield's inconsistency, coupled with a struggling run defense ultimately cost the team this afternoon.
Los Angeles: A sensational rushing attack allowed the Chargers to dictate the flow of the game, and the Browns could do nothing to stop them.