The next five oppomnents the Browns face are a combined 4-16. The second half of the schedule isn't as kind. The Browns need to win these, starting with Tennessee on Sunday.
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY SportsRon Schwane
Keep the QB clean.
The Browns have only given up 4 sacks on the season. Only the Bengals (0 sacks allowed, undefeated) Broncos (3 sacks allowed, 2-1) and Ravens (3 sacks allowed, 3-1) have allowed fewer.
Win the turnover margin.
Brian Hoyer (156 consecutive passes without a pick) isn't likely going to go all season without throwing an interception, but the team has not surrendered the ball via turnover all year. The defense has created four takeaways, which could improve.
Keep it balanced.
The Browns have attempted 96 passes and rushed the ball 91 times through the first three games. One dimensional teams are much easier to gameplan against.
More pressure on the QB.
The defense has sacked the QB just 5 times this season. When they get to the QB, good things happen- like Gipson's interceptions that were a direct result of pressure on the QB. A better pass rush will take pressure off the secondary.
Get Cameron in the game.
The Pro-Bowl TE has been battling injuries true, but he has only been targeted 8 times on the season.He has 3 catches for 70 yards. Jim Dray and Gary Barnidge have made a couple plays in his absence, but do not have the same impact on a game that Cameron can.
Win the close games.
The Browns have had a lead or been tied late in every game this season. Playoff teams win those games.
Improvement from the youngsters.
Several rookies are playing in key spots for the Browns, including Joel Bitonio, Ray Agnew, Taylor Gabriel, Justin Gilbert and the two-headed running back monster of Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell. Their development will be a key factor in the success of the team after the bye week.
Fix the rush defense.
The Browns are giving up just under 154 yards per game on the ground. The teams giving up more are Green Bay, Jacksonville, Oakland and St. Louis which are a combined 3-12 through the first four weeks, with 2 of those wins belonging to Aaron Rodgers.
Let Hoyer lead.
Brian Hoyer is rewarding the coaching staff for having confidence in him as the starter.