The night game for week 3 of the NFL season will take place in Cleveland as 1-1 Browns host the 2-0 Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football. The Rams have gotten off to a strong start and defeated the Saints 27-9 last week. The Browns were able to rebound from a disastrous week one with a dominant road win on Monday Night Football against the New York Jets 23-3. The Rams were last seasons surprise team with a run to the Superbowl and are now one of the favorites to get back there. The Browns were the undisputed winner of the offseason with several major additions on both sides of the ball. It remains to be seen if the team can back up the hype.
The Rams have one of the NFL’s most balanced offenses and it was on full display last week as quarterback Jared Goff threw for 283 yards and a touchdown while running back Todd Gurley added a rushing touchdown. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp also had a spectacular 67-yard catch and run in which he was ruled down at the 1-yard line. There are some injury concerns as The Rams lost two offensive starters: right guard Austin Blythe injured his ankle in the first half, and tight end Tyler Higbee incurred a chest injury early in the second half. Their health will be an important factor for the offense going forward.
The Browns came into week two off a bad loss week one looking for a shot at redemption. They found it in a New York Jets offense that was without its starting quarterback and after the Browns defense knocked out backup QB Trevor Simeon the Jets were down to their third string signal caller. The Browns defense, led by former Panthers Coach Steve Wilks, took advantage of the situation and held the Jets to 3 points, 262 yards, and an average of 4 yards per play. These stats are also inflated by a couple of 4th quarter possessions where the game was already decided. The offense was better than last week but has still yet to perform at anywhere near it fullest potential. The brightest spot was the performance of off season acquisition Odell Beckham Jr. He finished with 6 catches for 161 yards and a long touchdown catch from quarterback Baker Mayfield. Running back Nick Chubb had 18 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown while Mayfield was 19/35 for 325 yards and a touchdown.
As much as the week one loss was a huge disappointment a week 3 win in front of the home crowd with a National TV audience would be a huge boost Browns players and fans. The Rams always seem to play their best in Prime Time and will be looking to get off to a 3-0 start to the season. Expect the crowd in Cleveland to be at a fever pitch for the first significant Prime Time game they have played in over 15 years. You can also expect the Rams to be fully prepared for whatever Cleveland has to offer.