NFL Football
Scoreboard|Stats|Standings|Teams|Players|Player News|Injuries|Transactions
30
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
LA Chargers 3 14 10 3 30
Cleveland 14 7 7 0 28
28
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST11:00 AM CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00 , October 9, 2022
FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio  Weather: 59°, Clear  Attendance: 67,431

Chargers-Browns Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns

  1. The Chargers are 18-9-1 all-time against the Browns with Los Angeles winning 47-42 when the teams met last season. The 47 points were the most the Chargers had ever scored in the matchup.
  2. The Chargers scored 27 first-half points (allowing seven) en route to a 34-20 victory over the Texans. This season, the team has a +28 point differential in the first half of games (tied for 5th highest in NFL) but a -44 point differential in the second half (31st).
  3. Since making his debut in Week 2 of the 2020 season, Justin Herbert has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 35 different games. That ties him with Kirk Cousins for most games with a TD pass over the last three seasons.
  4. Cleveland has notched at least 350 net total yards in all four of their games this season. The only other time the Browns started a season with so many games of 350+ total yards was 1958, when they did so in each of their first five games.
  5. Nick Chubb rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown in Cleveland's 23-20 loss to Atlanta on Sunday. It was Chubb's 25th game with at least 100 rushing yards since being drafted in 2018, which leads the NFL for most 100-yard rushing games in that time (Derrick Henry has 24).
  6. The Browns have spent 37.7 percent of their games tied so far this season, the highest such percentage of any NFL team this season. Last season, Cleveland spent 19.8 percent of their games tied with its opponent.
Team Comparison

Los Angeles
 
Cleveland
23.0 Points 26.3
312.5 Pass Yds 207.5
64.5 Rush Yds 187.3
5 Takeaways 4
(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

CLEVELAND (AP) Big arm. Big plays. Big future.

It's easy to be impressed with Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert's attributes and potential. So forgive Browns safety John Johnson III for stretching the truth a bit when sizing him up.

"Look at him behind the center," Johnson said, raising his arm over his head for emphasis. "He's like 6-9."

Well, Herbert's only listed at 6-foot-6, and that's hardly the most impressive number associated with him.

The 24-year-old QB has passed for an NFL-leading 1,250 yards as he leads the Chargers (2-2) and the league's top-rated passing attack into Cleveland on Sunday to face the Browns (2-2), whose defensive backfield has been prone to fourth-quarter breakdowns.

Johnson knows that had better not happen against Herbert.

"They're No. 1 in passing, so if there's a game that you've got to get up for and be locked in for, it's this one," he said. "We've had some flashes of good things, but I think each and every play we've got to be locked in or we're going to get torched.

"If there's a game that we need our best effort from the secondary, it's this one."

Herbert has done it to the Browns before. He threw for 398 yards with four touchdowns in the Chargers' 47-42 win over Cleveland last season, when the Browns' secondary showed some leakiness.

"They bust sometimes," said Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams, who caught TDs of 72 and 42 yards in last year's game. "Sometimes they let up their communication back there. The safety cut or the corner not taking a post route or anything like that.

"Sometimes just a communication thing."

The Browns thought they had cleaned up their issues. But the Atlanta Falcons burned them for a 42-yard play in the fourth quarter last week as Cleveland let Olamide Zaccheaus run open to make a catch and set up the go-ahead field goal.

Defensive coordinator Joe Woods is confident his group has ironed out its communication challenges. Now it's about execution for the Browns, who are allowing a league-worst 12.5 points in the fourth quarter.

They gave up 17 in Week 1 to Carolina, 17 in Week 2 to the New York Jets and 13 against the Falcons.

"It's one of those things where you just you want to win games by two or three touchdowns, but it doesn't happen in the NFL," Woods said. "All of our games came down to literally the last play of the game or the last series.

"You just have to have the mental toughness to understand that is how the games are going to go."

GARRETT GOING

The Browns expect All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett to return after he missed last week while recovering from injuries suffered in a car crash.

Garrett, who needs one sack to pass Clay Matthews for the team's career mark, suffered a left shoulder sprain and a right biceps strain as well as cuts and bruises after he flipped his Porsche while speeding.

Garrett's absence strained a defensive front also missing Jadeveon Clowney, who missed his second game with a sprained ankle. Clowney tested the ankle this week, but is concerned about coming back too soon and risk missing more time.

"I want to go bad," Clowney said. "It would be great to have the whole front back."

Cleveland's pass rush hasn't been the same the past two weeks, and without Garrett and Clowney a week ago, the Falcons rolled up 202 yards rushing.

WATSON WATCH

Quarterback Deshaun Watson is eligible to return to the Browns on Monday while serving his 11-game suspension for alleged sexual misconduct.

Watson has not been allowed at Cleveland's training facility since Aug. 30. He's been undergoing counseling and treatment, and per league rules, he's permitted back after five weeks of his suspension.

Watson, who signed a five-year $240 million contract with Cleveland in March, can attend team meetings and work out but can't practice until Nov. 14.

STALEY'S HOMECOMING

On his last trip to FirstEnergy Stadium, Chargers coach Brandon Staley recruited high school players. This visit will fulfill a dream.

Staley grew up in Perry, Ohio, less than an hour from Cleveland's lakefront stadium. He was a Browns fan as a kid, and after facing them twice on the road, he'll finally get to coach against them in his backyard.

"That was always my dream," Staley said of coaching a game in Cleveland. "I went to games at the old stadium. With their franchise, in the last couple of years, they've really improved. Those fans are going to come alive when they have a team to root for."

BALANCING ACT

In the air, the Chargers are superb. On the ground, not so much.

While Los Angeles leads the league with 307.3 yards passing per game, the Chargers are last in rushing at 64.5 yards. They showed signs of life last week against Houston as Austin Ekeler ran for 60 yards, two touchdowns and had two carries over 10 yards for the first time this season.

"It's not necessarily where we need to be but it's a step in the right direction. I did get some runs and now I'm starting to get a feel for it," Ekeler said. "I was able to put a couple in the end zone for the run game, you know, for one game, but can I do it again?"

In last year's win over the Browns, he became the fifth player since 1991 with three scrimmage touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

---

AP Sports Writer Joe Reedy contributed to this report.

---

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Updated October 6, 2022

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2022 by STATS PERFORM.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS PERFORM is strictly prohibited.