An inside look at Sunday’s Browns-49ers week 6 matchup at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland.
Kyle Shanahan’s offense vs. Jim Schwartz’ defense
In baseball terms, Jim Schwartz has ownage on Kyle Shanahan.
The two have met up eight times as coordinators or head coaches. Schwartz has won seven of those meetings, including six in a row. If you include their matchup in 2021 when Schwartz was a defensive assistant in Tennessee, the win streak is seven.
In their nine prior meetings Schwartz has held Shanahan to just 15.8 points per game and allowed more than 20 points just once.
The Browns defense comes into this game allowing a league low 196 yards per game, 70 fewer than Baltimore and San Francisco who have allowed 266 per contest.
“They rush the passer every play and then react to everything else,” said Kyle Shanahan when asked about the challenge of facing Clevelang. “Myles Garrett combined with Schwartz’s scheme and the guys around him, it’s a problem. It’s obvious why they’re a top defense right now.
“When you have the D-Line they have, the downhill linebackers, you better have some good corners and they have very good ones. They play a lot of man-to-man coverage. They’ll mix in some zone. But, when you play that much man-to-man and you’re also the number one pass defense in the league, you’ve got to have some good corners.”
Jack’s Pick: The Cleveland defense will provide the toughest challenge to the 49ers this season.
For the Browns, their offense is a bigger issue. Cleveland will be without starting quarterback Deshaun Watson, running back Nick Chubb and left guard Joel Bitonio.
Unless San Francisco turns the ball over or doesn’t show up they will eventually wear down Cleveland and the 49ers will move to 6-0 on the season.
49ers 19 Browns 6
Ball Security: One thing that can nullify the 49ers talent advantage in this game is turnovers.
San Francisco has gone just 1-10 since the start of 2021 in games they have turned the ball over more than their opponents. When they don’t, the 49ers have compiled a record of 29-3.
As good as Cleveland’s defense has been through the first four weeks, they have forced just 3 turnovers. Meanwhile their offense has turned the ball over at least once in each game this season.
I can see for Myles: The Browns defense is led by pass rusher Myles Garrett. The defensive end has recorded 5.5 of Cleveland’s 12 sacks and hit the opposing quarterback 13 times.
Garrett moves around the formation, but 121 of his 166 snaps have come while lined up on the right side of the defense. If this pattern holds on Sunday, Garrett will spend most of the day working against All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams. The veteran left tackle has allowed just four pressures and four hurries on 162 pass blocking snaps.
Mr. Irrelevant: With a win on Sunday, Brock Purdy would have the second most consecutive wins to begin a career in NFL history with 11. The record is currently held by former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Been Roethlisberger who won his first 15 starts.
The second-year quarterback has broken several records this season and could pass another in Cleveland.
Purdy has gone 236 passes since throwing an interception in the third quarter of a 49ers win over Las Vegas on January 1. He is just 14 passes away from breaking Alex Smith’s franchise record of 249 passes.
Cleveland’s lone interception this season came when safety Grant Delpit picked off Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett in the first quarter of a 26-22 loss.
All-Pro Fred: Fred Warner has recorded 674 tackles in his career. He needs just two tackles on Sunday to move ahead of NaVorro Bowman for the fourth most tackles in franchise history.
Warner will have ample opportunity against a run heavy Cleveland offense.
The Browns 32.8 rushing attempts per game is tied for fourth most in the league.
Cleveland lost star running back Nick Chubb for the season with a knee injury during their week 2 loss at Pittsburgh. Over the last two games they have turned to Pierre Strong, Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt and averaged just 3.1 yards per rush attempt.