LOADER INFRINGEMENT: OVERALL (7), RUSH (32), PASS (1), SCORE (12).
CHARGERS DEFENSE: AGGREGATE (20), RUSH (14T), PASS (17), SCORING (30).
BROWNS OFFENSIVE: GENERAL (4T), RUSH (2), PASS (25), SCORING (6T).
BROWNS DEFENSE: OVERALL (9), RUSH (17), PASS (13), SCORING (19).
ROTATION DIFFERENTIAL: Loaders plus-1 (8T); Brown plus-1 (8T).
CHARGERS PLAYER TO WATCH: Quarterback Justin Herbert threw for a season-high 340 yards last week despite playing through a rib injury. He is the only QB in the league this season with at least two TD passes and a triple-digit passer rating in three games. Herbert looks to join Rich Gannon as the only quarterbacks with 300-yard games in eight straight road starts. Gannon did it with the Raiders in 2001-02.
BROWNS PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Nick Chubb. Chubb, the AFC’s leading rusher with 459 yards and five touchdowns, could be poised for another big day against a Chargers defense that gave up a 75-yard rushing touchdown last week to the Texans. Chubb’s workload could be ripe for a bump. He has only had 20-plus carries once in four games.
KEY MATCH: Herbert vs. Cleveland High School. The Browns have been prone to major misses so far this season, and they can’t afford any blunders against the Chargers’ quick offense and better passing attack. Herbert threw for 398 yards and four touchdowns last year against the Browns.
KEY INJURIES: Chargers TE Donald Parham (hamstring) is expected to make his season debut after missing the first four weeks. … WR Keenan Allen (hamstring) is questionable after missing the past three games. … K Dustin Hopkins (thigh), receiver Joshua Palmer (ankle) and linebacker Kyle Van Noy (back) were all limited this week. … Chargers DE Joey Bosa (sprained groin) could be out up to 10 weeks with the same injury his brother, Nick, suffered at Ohio State. … Myles Garrett, DE Browns, is expected to return after missing last week due to injuries sustained in a car accident. … DE Jadeveon Clowney (ankle) has missed the last two games and was sidelined earlier this week. … Browns rookie RB/KR Jerome Ford (ankle) was placed on injured reserve. He had been handling kickoff returns after Jakeem Grant Sr. suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury. … TE Harrison Bryant (illness) missed practice time this week.
SERIES NOTES: The Chargers have won three in a row, four of the last five and eight of the last 10. … Cleveland’s only win of 2016 came on Christmas Eve against the Chargers. … The Chargers are 13-0 when scoring at least 25 points against the Browns.
STATS AND THINGS: Chargers head coach Brandon Staley grew up in Perry, Ohio, less than an hour from Cleveland. He was also the defensive coordinator at nearby Division III John Carroll University for three years (2013, ’15-16). … Herbert leads the NFL with 1,250 passing yards. … Herbert has more completions of 40-plus yards (29) than any QB since 2020. … Los Angeles’ offensive line has allowed a league-low four sacks in the first four games. … RB Austin Ekeler leads the league with 235 yards after the catch and is third in the AFC with 27 receptions. Last week was the fourth time since 2019 that he has had at least three TDs in a game. … The Chargers’ defense has a league-leading 14 sacks stripped since the start of last season. … WR Mike Williams has four straight 100-yard receiving games on the road, one shy of the AFC record held by Cincinnati’s Chad Johnson. … TE Gerald Everett has at least 50 receiving yards in three of four games this season. … Chargers LB Khalil Mack ranks second in the AFC with five sacks. …. CB Bryce Callahan has already tied a career high with two interceptions. … S Derwin James needs 13 tackles to reach 300 for his career. … The Browns have been plagued by fourth-quarter defensive lapses in three games, two of them losses. … Cleveland’s defense is allowing a league-worst 7.83 yards per play in the fourth quarter this season. … Garrett needs just one sack to pass Clay Matthews (62) for the team’s career record. Matthews had another 13 sacks before he became an official stat in 1982 … The Browns have rushed for at least 150 yards in all four games. They have only done it five times to start a season twice (1947, 2001). … Quarterback Jacoby Brissett has been solid as he held Deshaun Watson’s starting job during his 11-game suspension, completing 65% of his passes. … WR Amari Cooper was limited to just one catch for 9 yards last week for the Falcons. … The Browns struggled in the red zone last week, putting up just 7 yards on 11 plays on three trips inside the Atlanta 11-yard line in the first half. … Watson is eligible to return to the Browns’ facility on Monday, but he can’t start practicing until next month.
FANTASY TIP: Ekeler had three touchdowns and 119 yards from scrimmage in last year’s game against the Browns. He has also recorded at least 90 yards from scrimmage in five straight road games.
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