Despite a large number of naysayers and nonbelievers, Cleveland Browns fans have a bit of optimism for this season. Although no one is calling for a Super Bowl win, Cleveland is certainly heading in the right direction. Additionally, the Browns showed improvement throughout their perfect 4-0 preseason. However, that was then; now, the games actually mean something. This Sunday, the Browns will host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2017 season opener. Can Cleveland keep their winning streak alive? If so, this is how it has to happen. These are our Browns Keys to Victory for week one of the 2017 season.
Week One Cleveland Browns Keys to Victory
Keep the Aggression Up
Pittsburgh is home to one of the NFL’s most naturally talented teams, at least on offense. Between Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown, their offense is full of weapons. And really, that’s just the start of it. The Browns were able to steal away receiver Sammie Coates, but that’s something of a different story. One of the biggest things the Browns can do in this opening game is to keep the aggression up on the defensive side.
With one of the youngest defensive lines in the league, the Browns are full of potential in the front seven. In addition to their front line, linebackers Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey should look to keep constant pressure on Roethlisberger. While the secondary still needs some work, that doesn’t mean they should not be at their toughest against Pittsburgh’s receivers. While the Browns may be a tiny bit outmatched in this department, it will be interesting to see just what Gregg Williams cooks up on defense. Williams’ coaching and the play of the defense will likely be one of the most important Browns keys to victory this week.
Help Out DeShone Kizer
Coming into this game, DeShone Kizer will be the youngest man to ever start at quarterback in the National Football League. Now, what does this mean? Well, simply put, the Browns need to play in such a way that really helps him out, especially on the offensive line. Joe Thomas and company will be of utmost importance. It looks like the Browns generation-long quarterback search could be over, so Kizer can’t be getting hurt already.
With the addition of Sammie Coates now official, the Browns receivers will likely be running a lot of streak routes here. Of course, this is a great help to Kizer. Really, the best route that he throws is the go route. The Browns just brought in another burner for him to throw to. However, the receivers need to make sure that they actually catch his passes. Kizer’s got a cannon of an arm, but that doesn’t mean anything unless his receivers get to his throws. In short, the offense needs to do everything they can to help the rookie quarterback. The success of Kizer is paramount to Cleveland’s success as a whole, and absolutely is one of our biggest Browns keys to victory.
Evaluate the Rookies
Of course, winning is the most important thing here, but evaluation of rookies is perhaps just as important. Especially in the cases of all three of the Browns first-round picks, all fans eyes will be watching. Myles Garrett and Jabrill Peppers will almost certainly be fun to watch, and David Njoku remains a huge mystery. Once again, DeShone Kizer looks to be the center of all attention. However, players like Larry Ogunjobi and Matt Dayes should absolutely be on the radars of fans. In any (and every) case, the front office should be looking to evaluate how the Browns rookies do in their first official NFL game.
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