The Browns were a few bad calls away from getting their first win since 2016. They rallied against Pittsburgh and held one of the NFL’s most potent offences for the entire overtime. Cleveland showed significant improvement, especially on defence. They surrendered 472 yards but forced six turnovers. This type of playmaking will be critical against a similar high-powered offence in New Orleans.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints got a rude awakening when they lost their home opener against the Ryan Fitzpatrick-led Buccaneers. New Orleans, who had a top-ten defence in 2017, got lit up for 529 yards and 48 points. They also lost the turnover battle by two and surrendered a whopping 8.5 yards per play. They are still heavily favoured to beat Cleveland but if that shaky start was a sign, this team is in trouble.
Believe it or not, the Browns hold the edge over the Saints. Cleveland is 4-1 against New Orleans since their revival in 1998. Brees is only 1-2 against the Browns and New Orleans is winless against them at home. History isn’t on the Saints’ side, but they are still the superior team. It’s just a matter of tightening up on defence as the Browns are not pushovers this time.