L.A. Rams at Cleveland Browns
When: 8:20 PM ET, Sunday, September 22, 2019
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Browns bounced back on Monday after a lackluster performance in the season opener but now have to test themselves against a rough schedule over the next few weeks. That stretch starts with the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams, who bring a 2-0 record to Ohio for Sunday Night Football on NBC Sports..
The Browns, who will make trips to Baltimore, San Francisco and New England over the next five games, expected the offense to be explosive with quarterback Baker Mayfield in his second season and Odell Beckham Jr. joining Jarvis Landry on the outside, but so far, the team is leaving plays on the field while averaging 18 points. “I think it falls back on me just playing better, getting the ball out and getting completions like I keep harping on. Just trusting the system,” Mayfield told reporters. “Everybody is going to do their job. We know what everybody is going to do. That is why we practiced in camp. That is why did everything like that. Just trust and do my job.”
The Rams, who averaged 32.9 points last season, are having some trouble finding their top gear on offense as well. “We tend to get so used to scoring so many points, and everyone is around the league used to us scoring so many points, and we scored 30 and 27 and a lot of teams can’t say that right now,” Los Angeles quarterback Jared Goff told reporters. “We’re happy with what we’ve done offensively. Obviously, we’d like to get off to a better start for sure.”
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Rams -3. O/U: 47.5.
ABOUT THE RAMS (2-0): One big addition from late last season is the return of wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who went down in Week 10 with a knee injury and missed the rest of the 2018 campaign. Kupp is leading the team with 12 receptions for 166 yards but Goff is impressed with the entire wide receiver group. “The way they push each other and the way that they hold each other to such a high standard and are so unselfish so team-oriented, it makes my job so much easier,” Goff told reporters. “I don’t have to think about, ‘man, this guy hasn’t touched the ball in a while, make sure he gets the ball.’ It’s really freeing to be able to just throw it to whoever is open and throw it to whoever we try to get open, and they understand that and do a great job with it.”
ABOUT THE BROWNS (1-1): The highlight from Monday’s 23-3 win over the New York Jets was the breakout from Beckham, who made a one-handed catch along the sideline and scored the longest touchdown (89 yards) of his career but also acknowledged that the offense is far from a finished product. “I know we are not where we want to be, but the good thing is we have more games, more opportunities and more practices to come together and prove ourselves,” Beckham told reporters. “Just like anything else, it is really not where you start; it is where you finish. We did not get off to the best start. We managed the game and got out of there with a win. We just need to improve this week facing a very, very, very good team coming in Sunday night.” The most consistent player on the Cleveland offense is running back Nick Chubb, who totaled 137 yards in the first two games.
- Browns TE David Njoku (wrist, concussion) is not expected to play Sunday.
- Los Angeles RG Austin Blythe (ankle) and TE Tyler Higbee (lung contusion) are both questionable.
- Cleveland RB Dontrell Hilliard (concussion) sat out Monday but returned to practice this week and could play Sunday.