Despite being without multiple impact-level starters on offense, the team was able to rally together and execute what seemed to be a perfectly devised game plan by Kevin Stefanski and the rest of his coaching staff.
Before the game, we noted six factors that could lead to a Browns upset. Now we look at three big ones that actually led to the upset:
Cleveland finally got their run game going.
The weak link in Browns offense heading into week 6 was undoubtedly the run game. There were problems and miscommunication amongst the offensive line, as well as lapses in gap recognition and overall vision by ball carriers as well.
It appears that Cleveland’s plan of attack on the ground shifted to a more perimeter-attacking approach this week. Not only that, but the blocking variations that the Browns used looked to be modified a bit as well. The offensive line was able to take advantage of blocking angles rather than the “big-on-big” blocking style of their traditional inside and outside zone plays.
Heading into the game, Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt were averaging a combined yards per carry number of 3.1 yards. They not only raised that average 4.43 yards per carry against the 49ers, but they also ran for seven total first-downs as well as breaking off multiple explosive runs (runs of 12+ yards).
#Browns RB Jerome Ford was one of the main catalysts for today’s HUGE win.— Matt Wilson (@CoachWilson66) October 15, 2023
He averaged almost 5 ypc, had multiple runs of 12+ yards, and displayed the vision and power that this team has been waiting to see in 2023.
Excellent effort by 34. #DawgPound
Once again, the Browns’ defense completely dominated.
Much like they’ve been doing all season, this Cleveland defense completely squeezed the life out of San Francisco’s offense.
The 49ers were able to get something going on their first couple of scripted offensive drives of the game, but that quickly changed. Jim Schwartz was able to orchestrate an excellent game plan that revolved around getting as much pressure on Brock Purdy as possible. It looked like Purdy was being forced out of the pocket or had a hand in his face on every other snap, which resulted in his worst statistical outing of the season.
By taking Purdy and the passing offense out of the game, Cleveland was able to tee off on and completely smother Christian McCaffrey, limiting him to under 4 yards per carry on the day.
One aspect of Cleveland’s win that isn’t being talked about enough or given enough credit is how well Dustin Hopkins performed on Sunday. Punter Corey Bojorquez deserves an honorable mention here as well.
Hopkins scored 13 out of the team's 19 points and made three kicks of 40+ yards on a cloudy day with wind gusts of up to 14-15 mph. Hopkins is performing like the kicker that Cleveland has wanted and needed for the past 5+ years.
Dustin Hopkins gives the Browns a late 19-16 lead. pic.twitter.com/CdgPbxnVCm— Arye Pulli (@AryePulli) October 15, 2023
Not only does he give the team a sense of comfort, but the Cleveland faithful as well.
What do you think is another key to the Browns victory in Week 6? Jump down to our comment section to discuss with others in the DBN community.