This week’s Thursday Night Football is between a pair of banged up 3-3 teams desperate to keep their heads afloat in a crowded AFC playoff race. The Browns will enter the contest down a significant part of their starting offense, including Baker Mayfield. Meanwhile, the Broncos are hoping a hobbled Teddy Bridgewater can score points on a Cleveland defense led by Myles Garrett, Jadaveon Clowney, and Denzel Ward.
To get the lowdown on this week’s opponent, I invited the Orange and Brown Reports’ Jake Burns to speak with me on Cover 2 Broncos. Burns is on the short list for NFL film gurus I respect most, so this chat was highly anticipated. What follows are a brief overview of what we spoke about.
Who is playing, and how solid is the depth?
Broncos injury list
LB Alexander Johnson (IR)
LB Baron Browning
ED Aaron Patrick
QB Teddy Bridgewater
LT Garett Bolles
S Caden Sterns
Depth questions / notes
- How does the approach change if Teddy Bridgewater gives way to Drew Lock?
- Justin Strnad, Micah Kiser, Curtis Robinson, Barrington Wade at linebacker.
- Potential game for McTelvin Agim - Browns go heavy so 6 DL makes some sense.
#Broncos statuses— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) October 20, 2021
Out - Browning (concussion) and A. Patrick (ankle).
Questionable - Bridgewater (foot/quad), Bolles (knee) and Sterns (illness).
Browns Injury list
RB Kareem Hunt
RB Nick Chubb
LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
QB Baker Mayfield
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
ED Jadeveon Clowney
C JC Tretter
LT Jedrick Wills
RT Jack Conklin
Depth questions / notes
- D’Ernest Johnson has played 146 offensive snaps across three NFL seasons. He has 50 touches for 290 yards.
- If Conklin or Wills can’t play, who will take their place in the starting lineup and how do they match up vs. Von Miller? What will Stefanski to do to try and protect the backup?
#Browns WR Odell Beckham, DE Jadeveon Clowney, C JC Tretter, LT Jedrick Wills and RT Jack Conklin are all questionable to play Thursday against the Broncos.— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) October 20, 2021
Bekcham didn't practice all week. Clowney was limited all week. Tretter, Wills and Conklin got in limited practices today.
Browns offense vs. Broncos defense
- How will the offense look with Case Keenum and D’Ernest Johnson making their first starts of the season?
- Stefanski’s a creative and efficient play caller who doesn’t hesitate to relentlessly pick at an opponent’s weakness.
- The Broncos redzone rush defense is a sore spot.
- The Broncos have played the vast majority of the season without Bradley Chubb, which has had a bigger impact on their pass rush than expected.
- Harrison Bryant seems to have taken the place of Andy Janovich in 21 personnel.
- Stefanski has no qualms about using motion to create favorable blocking angles, ID the defense, or isolate mismatches.
11 P on 44% of snaps - Pass 63% of snaps, 11 sacks, 5 TDs, 4 INTs, 71 rushes for 4.5 YPC.
12 P on 20% of snaps - Pass 43% of snaps, 8 sacks, 3 TD, 1 INT, 38 rushes for 4.3 YPC.
21 P on 11% of snaps - Pass 60% of snaps, 3 sacks, 18 rushes for 3.8 YPC and 2 TD.
13 P on 21% of snaps - Pass 34% of snaps, 2 TDs, 27 rushes for 4.9 YPC and 1 TD.
Browns have rarely used 22 and 23 this season. They’ve used 01, 0, and 14 one time each.
Pass - 21st
Rush - 20th
WR2 - 19th
WR3+ - 11th
TE - 12th
RB - 3rd
Left - 22nd
Middle - 27th
Right - 1st
Deep - 24th
Short - 7th
10th by Adjusted Line Yards
23rd Left End
17th Left Tackle
8th right tackle
3rd right end
Browns defense vs. Broncos offense
- The Broncos enter the game with two proven receivers, a receiving tight end, followed by duct tape and super glue holding together the rest of their receiving corps. What will Joe Woods do to try and take advantage?
- How badly does the JOK injury sap the run defense?
- Will Jadeveon Clowney play?
- How can the Broncos find success against the secondary?
- Shurmur frequently dials up 2-man concepts with max protection.
- Broncos will lean heavily on three receiver sets. Through six weeks Browns have used nickel less frequently than NFL average, dime more frequently.
11 P on 61% of snaps - Pass 70% of snaps, 11 sacks, 5 TDs, 4 INTs, 71 rushes for 4.5 YPC.
12 P on 24% of snaps - Pass 60% of snaps, 8 sacks, 3 TD, 1 INT, 38 rushes for 4.3 YPC.
13 P on 9% of snaps - Pass on 23% of snaps, 2 TDs, 27 rushes for 4.9 YPC and 1 TD.
Broncos have rarely used 21 and 22 P this season. They’ve used 20, 23, and 0 a handful of snaps.
Pass - 20th
Rush - 3rd
WR2 - 20th
WR3+ - 15th
TE - 13th
RB - 8th
Left - 12th
Middle - 8th
Right - 32nd
Deep - 30th
Short - 8th
6th by Adjusted Line Yards
24th Left End
1st Left Tackle
7th right tackle
10th right end
Will the Broncos beat the Browns on TNF?
This poll is closed