??As the Cleveland Browns cling to slim playoff prospects, they will face one of only two NFL teams to secure a playoff berth, the Green Bay Packers, to open a doubles schedule on Dodge Day. Christmas. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have won three straight and three straight NFC North titles after a Week 15 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Meanwhile, the Browns are emerging from a wave of COVID-19 troubles and a heartbreaking loss on Monday to the Las Vegas Raiders that dropped them to 12th in the AFC. With Head Coach Kevin Stefanski and Quarterback Baker Mayfield Expected for Saturday, it’s already the playoffs for the Browns realistically as they look to stay alive in the AFC playoff race against the NFC No.1 seed.
Here are three things to watch out for when the Packers host the Browns:
- Rodgers aims to unbox another gem. Like a number of all-time greats, Rodgers’ amazing play can often be taken for granted, but it really is something to see. His last race of greatness is particularly impressive. In the last four games, in which the Packers have gone 3-1, Rodgers threw for 1,301 yards (325.25 per game) and 13 touchdowns without interceptions. Rodgers and the Packers offense are progressing right now, having passed 30 points in each of their last four games. As the Packers look to retain the NFC No.1 seed and secure the NFC playoffs through Lambeau Field, Rodgers look to continue his legendary career at Green Bay. He has 442 career touchdown passes and can break the tie with Brett Favre for the most in the franchise chronicle. He will be looking to do this by playing Christmas for the second time. On Christmas Day 2011, he possessed rival Chicago Bears to the tune of five touchdowns in a 35-21 triumph at Green Bay.
- Does Baker’s return bode well for the Browns? After suffering an assortment of injuries throughout the season, Mayfield was ruled out in week 15 due to COVID-19. He’s due for Saturday’s showdown and the continuation of a chaotic campaign in 2021. There have been injuries, controversy before Odell Beckham’s departure and the often boring game. Mayfield’s inaccuracy has become a common theme (he completed under 53% of his passes for three straight weeks before a 68% performance in Week 14). Yet in two games without Mayfield this season, the Browns have averaged 15 points and 306 total yards, up from 21.8 points and 346.9 yards per game with the former No. 1 pick. Every point and every yard matter even more at this point and the Browns are looking for back-to-back playoff trips for the first time since 1985-89. Can Mayfield’s comeback trigger a playoff comeback?
- Robust sled for the best backs. Two of the league’s most respected full-backs will be featured in Saturday’s game, but the Browns Nick chubb and the Packers Aaron Jones will each face formidable defenses against the race. Although the Browns lost on Monday, Chubb rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown, breaking a three-game scoreless streak and rebounding after a two-game drought in which he ran for lows of 16 and 59. yards in weeks 13 and 14, respectively. He will face a Packers defense that is 12th in the league against the rush and will do so with his backfield partner Kareem Hunting once again. Green Bay, however, will have their double from Jones and AJ Dillon. Jones hasn’t run more than 59 yards since Week 6, with Dillon becoming the top field winner in most games, although Jones’ 58 yards led the way in Week 15. Cleveland owns the total defense. n ° 5 (eighth against the pass and ninth against the run). It is a difficult task for both backfields. The Browns’ rushed play is vital in hoping to open up the action game for Mayfield. The Packers’ running offense didn’t have to be at its best with Rodgers playing the way he did, but with their eyes riveted on the price of a Super Bowl run, a balanced offense has to come to fruition.