As the Cleveland Browns prepare for what may be the biggest game in the last 20 years, it is no secret the Colts are a good football team.
They rank first overall on defense and have used that to earn themselves a 3-1 record on the season.
But the Browns are a good football team too.
They rank in the top 10 overall on offense, which includes the team’s seemingly unstoppable run game and offensive line, as well as coming off a monster game from Odell Beckham Jr.
This will be the Browns biggest test at this point of the season.
However, there are some intriguing and favorable match-ups in this game that could easily sway the Browns way.
Myles Garrett vs Colts O-Line
What Myles Garrett has done this season is up to par with what the Browns expected out of him when he was drafted in 2017.
He leads the league in sacks with five on the year, including three strip-sacks in as many weeks and has wreaked havoc on opposing offensive tackles and quarterbacks.
This week may be no different. The Colts will be without starting offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo on Sunday, which is huge for the Browns.
The Browns will look to continue dominating upfront like they have the last few weeks and bring pressure to an ageing Phillip Rivers, who will not be looking to run around the field all day.
Browns TE’s vs Colts LB’s
Along with the Colts being without their starting offensive tackle on Sunday, they will also be without starting linebacker Darius Leonard, who is a big piece of this Colts great defence.
Being without a key piece like Leonard will put the Browns in some unique situations to utilize their tight ends.
With David Njoku returning this week, he can only help the Browns cause in this game. His athletic ability alone will put the Colts at a mismatch, as Kevin Stefanski is already known for utilizing his tight ends a lot in his offence.
Look for the Browns to continue to utilize the tight ends to their advantage this Sunday..
Wyatt Teller vs DeForest Buckner
This may be the most interesting matchup against the two teams.
Buckner has been a great addition to the Colts defense and is third on the team in sacks. However, Teller has become a favorite in Cleveland and is the league’s top-graded right guard so far this season.
This matchup will be one that the Browns have got to win on Sunday if they want any chance of winning this game.
Keep an eye out for the matchup between Conklin and Justin Houston as well, who is the Colts team leader in sacks.
Baker Mayfield vs Colts Secondary
Over the last several weeks, the Browns and quarterback Baker Mayfield have done a great job at winning the turnover battle.
Mayfield has taken care of the ball and made some great throws to keep drives moving and he is going to have to continue doing that this Sunday vs the Colts.
Although they are without starting safety Malik Hooker, this Colts secondary is smart and talented. Starting with Xavier Rhodes; the former Minnesota Viking has two interceptions on the year, which is tied with the team leader and former Cleveland Brown T.J. Carrie.
Both of which have played well and are a big reason for the Colts being a top defense in the league.
Overall, the Browns are in for a tough, physical game that could come down to the wire like many do across the NFL on Sundays. However, it is a game the Browns can win.
Many said the Browns couldn’t beat the Cowboys last week and ended up nearly throwing up 50 points in a big win. If the Browns can take advantage of these mismatches on Sunday, the team could look at its best start to a season in 26 years by moving to 4-1 with a date against division rival Pittsburgh on the horizon.