Los Angeles Rams @ Cleveland Browns: Will Browns spring a surprise?
Watch live on Sky Sports Action or Main Event from 1.10am on Monday; kick-off is at 1.20am
By James Simpson - @JS_Football
Last Updated: 23/09/19 12:29am
The Los Angeles Rams will look to move to 3-0 when they visit the Cleveland Browns on Sunday Night Football, exclusively live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event. Here is what to expect...
Seasons so far
The Rams (2-0) have picked up right where they left off last season when they represented the NFC in the Super Bowl.
After a 30-27 win in Carolina followed by victory over the Saints last week , Los Angeles remain undefeated and in good shape for another playoff run.
Meanwhile, the Browns (1-1) have been underwhelming considering the offseason hype. They were trounced 43-13 by Tennessee at home in Week One but comfortably beat the Jets - without Sam Darnold - 23-3 last Monday night.
A .500 start isn't too bad considering the Browns' history (16 seasons without a playoff appearance), but knowing their next five opponents (Rams, Ravens, 49ers, Seahawks and Patriots) are all 2-0 right now, they will will need to step up their game to avoid falling out of contention.
Ones to watch
When Jared Goff and Baker Mayfield take the field on Sunday night, it will mark the seventh time in the modern era that No 1 overall quarterbacks aged 24 or younger will face off.
They have had different career trajectories - Goff had a disastrous rookie season but turned it around under head coach Sean McVay while Mayfield threw for the most touchdowns by a first-year player in NFL history - but both have the talent to carry their teams to wins.
The Rams are coming off a Super Bowl appearance, and still have all the talent from last year. Todd Gurley has scored 41 touchdowns since the start of last season, the receiving trio of Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp could be the best in the league, and defensive tackle Aaron Donald has won Defensive Player of the Year for two years straight. The roster is stacked with stars.
Cleveland, too, have plenty of players with great ability, they just haven't put it all together - yet. Odell Beckham Jr reminded everyone just how special he is with his six-catch, 161-yard performance last week, and he will be essential if the Browns are to pull off an upset.
Nick Chubb and Jarvis Landry are supreme weapons to support Mayfield and on the defensive side of the ball, Cleveland have a gem in 2017 No 1 overall pick Myles Garrett. He managed 20.5 sacks in his first two years in the league, and leads the NFL so far this season with five. He must get after Goff on Sunday night.
- Goff is 5-1 overall in his career against No 1 overall QBs, Mayfield is 1-3
- Mayfield has thrown a pass TD in 15 straight games (tied for third-longest active streak in NFL and tied for the second-longest streak ever to start career)
- Mayfield is 1-5 against teams that enter the game with a record above .500
- In the McVay era, Goff is undefeated in the regular season vs AFC opponents
- Cooks, Woods, and Kupp are the only team WR trio with 70-plus receiving yards per game and six-plus receiving TD since 2018
- Aaron Donald (20.5) and Myles Garrett (18.5) rank first and second in sacks since the start of last season
- Donald has two-plus sacks in seven games since 2018 (most in NFL) - Rams are 7-0 in those games
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