Cleveland coasts into third place in the standings coming off a bye week
Very early bye week for the Browns this season as they just had a week off in the fifth week of the season. They seemed to need some time to regroup after getting blown out by the Ravens at home. The good news for those who root for Cleveland is this team is very much still in the hunt to try and win the AFC North division, but the road is rockier.
The Steelers beating the Ravens last week somewhat helps their cause as it keeps the division standings close. They need that to continue as well as most of these teams to compete. Even though Pittsburgh somewhat helped them in that regard, the Browns lost to the Steelers and Ravens over a couple of weeks period. They are sunk in the divisional record department and that might be too steep of a hole to climb out of.
Things are not going to get any easier for them this week as they host the San Francisco 49ers. The good news is that they have had an extra week to rest and get prepared for this game. The bad news is most teams will focus more on just getting rest rather than focusing on preparing for a game. This is a tough matchup for anyone in the NFL when the 49ers are next up on the schedule.
Cleveland's defense is their strong area of the team, but they are going up against one of the best offenses in the league. Deshaun Watson needs a stable run attack to make him more comfortable in games, but they are going up against one of the best defenses in the NFL. The 49ers have a ton of positives going in their direction leading up to this game. It'll be tough for San Francisco to leave with a win.