- Browns bracing for unique challenge from Cam Newton (ohio.com) - To illustrate the challenge the Browns will encounter Sunday when they host Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, interim coach Gregg Williams told his players to look at defensive end Myles Garrett.
- 4 reasons to pay attention to Browns final four games (cleveland.com) - The New York Times has a cool playoff simulator that allows you to play out scenarios in which a team could make the playoffs. The good news: I managed a scenario that got the Browns in the playoffs in 100 percent of their simulations. The reality: It’s the longest of long shots.
- Loss to Texans a learning experience for Baker Mayfield (ESPN) - Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens threw out an unintended challenge to the media when he discussed Baker Mayfield’s 351-yards of passing yards in the second half of Sunday’s loss at the Houston Texans. ”I don’t know what kind of record he was setting in the second half,” Kitchens said. “But it had to be something.”
- Running backs taking a liking to new position coach (clevelandbrowns.com) - The Browns replaced one former quarterback with another to coach their running backs, which is nothing new to Dontrell Hilliard. Hilliard’s been coached by coaches who played other positions nearly his whole career. The lone exception was Jamaal Fobbs, his running backs coach at Tulane. So being coached from a different viewpoint isn’t a new perspective for Hilliard.
- Running the football still works! (NFL.com) - If you’re a devoted sportstalk radio listener, you’ve become quite familiar with the following proclamation in recent years: The NFL is a passing league. I certainly can’t squash that notion -- the aerial evolution of this league is undeniable -- but I’m here to tell you that making a concerted effort to run the football is still the best way to consistently win games.
- Inside the NFL’s scoring explosion (ESPN) - Through the first 13 weeks of the 2018 campaign, the NFL is averaging more points (47.8), yards (718.4) and passing touchdowns (3.5) per game than at any similar point in its history. Expected points added (EPA) -- a measure of each play’s change in net point advantage for the offense, based on down, distance and yard line at each snap -- has increased nearly 1,200 points from 2017, a massive jump. So how did it happen, and why now?
- Packers hope to avoid charade over final four weeks (PFT) - The Packers absorbed a surprising amount of criticism for firing coach Mike McCarthy with four games left in the season. But NFL teams firing coaches with games remaining in the season is hardly uncommon; nearly every year, one or more teams part ways with a coach before the final game is played.
- Sammy Watkins likely out until playoffs (NFL.com) - The Kansas City Chiefs’ signing of wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin brings some clarity now. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who has missed the past two games with a foot injury, is out for Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. He was officially listed as doubtful. Rapoport added Watkins isn’t ready to return and rest is the best option.