Know Your Eagles enemy: The Cleveland Browns

My name is Cleveland Brown and I am prou… wait. This isn’t about the show? Sorry. The Eagles are 3-5-1 after losing to the Giants on Sunday. A pitiful performance ahead of an extremely tough stretch of games, beginning this Sunday in Cleveland.

Before we get into the game, let’s visit their off-season and current ranks:

2019 Ranks:
  • Yards per game: 340.9 (22nd)
  • Passing yards per game: 222.1 (22nd)
  • Rushing yards per game: 118.8 (12th)
  • Points per game: 20.9 (22nd)
  • Yards allowed per game: 361.6 (22nd)
  • Passing yards allowed per game: 216.9 (7th)
  • Rushing yards allowed per game: 144.7 (30th)
  • Points allowed per game: 24.6 (20th)
  • Turnover differential: -8 (26th)
2020 Ranks:
  • Yards per game: 347.8 (23rd)
  • Passing yards per game: 188.8 (30th)
  • Rushing yards per game: 159.0 (4th)
  • Points per game: 24.0 (18th)
  • Yards allowed per game: 357.1 (15th)
  • Passing yards allowed per game: 252.2 (21st)
  • Rushing yards allowed per game: 104.9 (8th)
  • Points allowed per game: 27.1 (20th)
  • Turnover differential: +4 (T-5th)
Key additions:

T Jack Conklin (free agency), TE Austin Hooper (free agency), DE Adrian Clayborn (free agency), S Karl Joseph (free agency), CB Kevin Johnson (free agency), T Jedrick Wills (draft), S Ronnie Harrison (trade)

Key departures:

LB Joe Schobert (free agency), LB Christian Kirksey (free agency), S Eric Murray (free agency), S Juston Burris (free agency), S Damarious Randall (free agency), WR Odell Beckham Jr. (injury)

Keep runnin’ runnin’, and runnin’ runnin’

Now a Black Eyed Peas reference?! Good Lord I need to go to bed.

Anyway, the Browns are set to run all over the Eagles defense on Sunday. You think Daniel Jones could do big damage? Just wait until you see Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb.

Chubb has played in only five games this season, missing some time on the COVID list, but he has averaged 92.2 rushing yards in those games (3rd). Kareem Hunt has the 6th most rushing yards in the league (633) on the 9th most carries.

Hunt (4.02 YPC) and Chubb (4.81 YPC) gash defenses up the middle. The Eagles defense allows 3.96 YPC up the middle. Yikes.

Furthermore, Hunt is 9th, according to Football Outsiders, in Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (Sanders is 8th), 11th in DVOA (Sanders is 5th), and 8th in effective yards (Sanders is 16th).

Among players with 79 or less rushes, Chubb is 1st in DYAR, 8th in DVOA among RBs with 40-79 rushes, 3rd in effective yards.

The Eagles defense is facing a RB duo that may not be matched in the entire NFL.

The Middle

The Browns are bad at defending the middle of the field.

They are allowing a passer rating of 96 in the deep middle of the field and 100 rating in the short middle. The league average for both is 84 and 100, respectively. Could a potential lineup that features Alshon Jeffery in the slot get him going?

Alshon Jeffery has been in the “dog pound” of Eagles fans for a very long time. Could this be the game where he “breaks out” and gets back in the good graces?

The Browns are also 28th in the league in defending running backs on passing plays. Teams have a 55% success rate when targeting running backs, according to Sharp Football. Teams are gaining 6.8 yards per play when targeting running backs versus the Browns, 30th in the league.

For the Eagles to have a chance in a possible high scoring game, they need to attack the middle of the field.

For history and predictions, check out the next page below.

Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

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