By Quetzalcóatl Flores (@Quetzalcoatl_)
Week 11 of the 2021 NFL Season brings us a duel between the Lions and the Browns that just a couple of weeks ago could be seen as a mere paperwork for Cleveland. However, this team looked very bad against some Patriots who ran over them.
So there are a lot of questions right now about the Browns. At the beginning of the season they looked like a firm contender to the Super Bowl, then they were demoted to just winning their division and at this point, with serious doubts on several of their lines, they are in last place in AFC North. In this article we tell you everything you need to know about both teams.
Are the Browns deflating from Baker Mayfield?
It should start with QB Baker Mayfield, who while he has recently been dealing with a pectoral injury – this week it is still unclear if he will be able to play due to another knee injury -, since the start of the season he has left many doubts about the field, and last week was one of his worst performances completing just 11 of 21 attempts for an infamous 73 yards, averaging just 3.5 per attempt and with a rating of 56.3.
This week RB Nick Chubb is expected to return after testing positive for COVID-19 and he is the one on whom they must recharge their attack, as it is clear that Mayfield needs help to make this offense operate. Therefore, it is likely that the Browns management by now is wondering whether or not Mayfield is the future of this team, since he has not made the expected leap to get the games out in a scheme that depends a lot on a good running game. .
This week HC Kevin Stefanski should focus on carrying the ball as much as possible as the Lions are allowing 8.5 yards per carry, ranking as the worst in the league in the field, and there is a scenario where, despite the fact that Mayfield returned to team practice on Thursday, let’s see QB Case Keenum start in Week 11.
The Lions are feisty, but not thanks to Jared Goff
On the visitor’s side, what could we say about them? The Lions are coming off a suffered draw (because it was a pain for the spectators to witness that) against the Steelers; Looking at QB Jared Goff, one wonders how he already played a Super Bowl, since he only got 114 yards and a rating of 67.8.
To top it all, Goff has reported an oblique injury, so we may see QB2 Tim Boyle (who has only completed 3 passes in his 4 years in the NFL) in his place. Honestly, this could go on either side of the scale, it could be the best thing that could happen to Detroit, that they discover that Boyle has a better chance of helping to finish the season with dignity; or even worse than Goff – which seems difficult but not unlikely. Anyway, the Lions should be thinking about a new QB for 2022.
Detroit’s game plan should be similar to Cleveland’s: RB D’Andre Swift is one of the few players who has excelled in this attack and HC Dan Campbell should focus the game on carries. Just last week against the “great” Steelers defense he had 130 yards on 33 carries, averaging 3.9 yards per attempt, and the Browns defense, which at first looked like a great unit, has been steadily making water; last week they allowed 184 yards, 5.4 yards per carry and 2 touchdowns.
However, given the conditions in which both teams arrive, it could be said that it will be an even game that will end up tilting in favor of Cleveland only because they have more talent on their side. Even with Keenum on the controls the tonic is the same because the Lions have nothing of pass rush -Against the Steelers they didn’t have a single hit to the QB in 50 pass attempts.
Finally, although everything indicates that the Browns will win, with the surprises that have occurred recently in recent weeks, it is impossible to give an accurate forecast. It sounds unlikely, but this may be the Lions’ last chance at their first and perhaps only win of the year.
Can Detroit surprise Cleveland for its first win of the season? Will Baker Mayfield redeem himself after his lousy performance of Week 10? We read you in the comments below this article and on our social networks.
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Lions vs Browns: Baker Mayfield, regain credibility against the ideal rival