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Browns vs. Saints: Week 16 Need to Know

Cleveland closes out the home portion of the schedule as they host New Orleans for a frigid afternoon of football. Here is what you need to know.

Cleveland Browns v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns close out the home portion of the 2022 schedule on Saturday as they host the New Orleans Saints.

Cleveland is down to playing for pride, a winning record at home and their second winning season in the past three years. Meanwhile, the Saints are still in the playoff race in the abysmal NFC South, which has turned into the NFL’s version of the Big Ten West.

Related: Scouting the New Orleans Saints with our Q&A with Canal Street Chronicles

It is Browns vs. Saints from what is expected to be a frigid FirstEnergy Stadium and here is everything you need to know to get ready for the game.

Game Info

Records: Cleveland is 6-8. New Orleans is 5-9.

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

Stadium: FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland


Announcers: Spero Dedes, Jay Feely and Aditi Kinkhabwala (sidelines)

Radio: ESPN 850, 92.3 The Fan, 98.5 WNCX

Announcers: Jim Donovan, Nathan Zegura, Jerod Cherry (sidelines)

Last meeting: The Saints won the last meeting, 21-18, in Week 2 of the 2018 season.

All-time series: Cleveland leads the all-time series, 13-5, and the Browns are 5-2 against the Saints at home.

Uniform: The Browns are giving fans a lump of coal in their stockings for Christmas by wearing the worst possible uniform combo for the game.

Weather: 11 degrees with a 33 percent chance of snow. Winds from the southwest at 30 mph with a wind chill of minus 10 degrees. (

Injury report: Browns – Questionable: safety John Johnson III (thigh). Out: defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (concussion). Saints – Questionable: cornerback Marshon Lattimore (abdomen), safety Marcus Maye (shoulder), Adam Trautman (ankle), safety P.J. Williams (knee) and guard Andrus Peat (illness). Out: wide receiver Chris Olave (hamstring), wide receiver Jarvis Landry (ankle), running back Dwayne Washington (illness) and linebacker Pete Werner (hamstring).

The line: Browns -3 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

A Few Things to Watch

Baby, it’s cold outside!: The forecast for Saturday’s game calls for a high of 11 degrees with a 33 percent chance of snow and wind gusts up to 60 mph, which would make for a windchill of minus 20 degrees. If the weather prediction holds true, Saturday’s game would be just the fourth time in franchise history the Browns will play a home game in temperatures under 15 degrees, according to

Related: Oddsmakers predict historically low-scoring game between Browns and Saints

The other three games were on December 11, 1977, against the Houston Oilers, January 4, 1981, against the Oakland Raiders, and December 17, 1989, against the Minnesota Vikings. The bad news is that the Browns lost to the Oilers and Raiders, but did beat the Vikings in the most recent game, so they have that going for them. (We’ll throw in the 2009 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers as a bonus since it was 15 degrees at kickoff with a wind chill of -6 and the Browns won.)

The conditions obviously impact both teams, especially in the passing and kicking games given the expected wind gusts, but the Browns should have a bit of an edge given the depth and quality of their running game, which despite some recent struggles is still second in the league in yards and fourth in rushing touchdowns.

As for how to deal with the extreme weather, cornerback Greg Newsome II said players just have to adopt the proper mindset (quote via

“I don’t think you can ever necessarily prepare for that. It’s definitely going to be cold. I just feel like it’s a decision to make: Are you going to let it affect you or not? You can’t prepare for cold. I’m cold, too, but it’s just the mindset that you go into the game with.”

Welcome back Jarvis put on hold: The Browns made the wise, albeit somewhat unpopular, decision to move on from wide receiver Jarvis Landry in the offseason.

Related: Revisiting the Browns decision to release Jarvis Landry

Landry spent four seasons with the Browns and did what he could to help change the culture around the franchise. Saturday’s game would have marked Landry’s first return to Cleveland since signing with the Saints, but he was placed on the injured reserve list on Thursday. The season did not go so well as Landry has struggled with injuries that kept him out of five games. And even when he has played his numbers are not good as after posting a 114-yard receiving day in Week 1 he has yet to top 40 receiving yards in a single game.

Still, the time he spent with the Browns resonates with his former teammates, as tight end David Njoku said this week (quote via

“I think he was one of the main reasons we got this thing turned around, along with obviously a few other players. I have to give credit to him for the majority of it because he had the mentality and the mindset of winning and pushing through adversity. I feel like that rubbed on a bunch of players at the time when he was here.”

The narrative of Landry’s time in Cleveland did not always match the reality and the Browns clearly made the right decision to move on, but it is still disappointing to see how his season has played out in New Orleans and fair to wonder how much he has left.

Another familiar face: When the Saints have the ball on offense, Cleveland will see a familiar face in quarterback Andy Dalton, who faced the Browns 17 times when he was with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cincinnati won 12 of those matchups with Dalton at quarterback, including the last one, a 33-23 win to close out the 2019 season. There are only two of Cleveland’s defensive players left on the roster who played in that game – cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams – so any advantage that Dalton may have should be mitigated by a Browns defense that is presumably better than the ones he faced in the past.

Center of attention: The Browns designated starting center Ethan Pocic to return from the injured reserve list this week and head coach Kevin Stefanski said on Thursday that Pocic is expected to play against the Saints.

Pocic, who was the No. 2 ranked center by Pro Football Focus through the first 10 weeks of the season, has been out since suffering a knee injury on the first offensive play of the game against the Buffalo Bills on November 20. Hjalte Froholdt did what he could in filling in for Pocic, but the offensive line struggled as it fell from the second-best in the NFL to No. 8 overall in PFF’s rankings heading into this week’s game and has been the second-worst overall with Froholdt in the lineup.

Game Notes

  • Wide receiver Amari Cooper is just 68 yards away from the sixth 1,000-yard season in his eight-year career.
  • Running back Nick Chubb is just 45 rushing yards away from passing Jamal Lewis (2007) for eighth place on Cleveland’s all-time single-season rushing list. When Chubb passes Lewis, all eight of the top spots will be filled by either Chubb or Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown.
  • Head coach Kevin Stefanski is only the fifth full-time head coach in franchise history with a winning percentage over .500. Stefanski is also seventh on the franchise’s all-time wins list.
  • With a win on Saturday, the Browns will finish with a home record of 5-3, marking the first time the club has posted three consecutive winning seasons at home since the late 1980s.
  • The Browns are a perfect 3-0 this season in games not played on a Sunday.

A Final Quote

Cleveland guard Joel Bitonio on playing in the elements (quote via a team-provided transcript):

“I like the elements. When you are playing in a dome at 68 or 70 every time and it is in perfect conditions, I feel like football is an imperfect game. I know there are some people who want the high-powered offense and you want to see the talent play, but sometimes it is cool to have a little snow. We didn’t have that much, but last week, a night game and the snow was falling, what was better than that? You are out there playing football. It just reminds me of things you think about when you are a kid. For me personally, I like playing outdoors.”

Those are just a few things to keep an eye on; now it is time to have your say. What are you looking for from the Browns in Saturday’s game against the Saints?