3 keys to defeating the Los Angeles Chargers

Herbert is the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and could add another nickname to his list, the reigning third from bottom king. Since 2020 Herbert has been leading all quarterbacks with 17 third-down touchdown passes – he already has three this season – and 96 third-down-passing first-downs. This year he has already passed 23 first downs in third down situations, most of them in the league. It should come as no surprise that the Chargers convert 49.1 percent of their third downs this season, the fifth-highest rate in the NFL. Add another four successful fourth down conversions and you’ll see a Chargers team expanding their drives a remarkable 56.3 percent of the time, thanks in large part to the demeanor and talent of their sophomore quarterback .

Defending against third place was a struggle for the Browns early in the season as they allowed 17 out of 27 (63 percent) conversions in their first two games. For the past two weeks, however, the Browns’ defense has been elite on every facet, including the Third Downs, where they’ve given up just six conversions in the last 27 attempts, which is just 22.2 percent (best in the NFL during that period ). Much of the third-placed success is due not only to excellent, close coverage of the final seven, but also incredible pressure from the edge led by Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney and Takkarist McKinley, combined with the tactful domination of Malik on the inside Jackson and Malik McDowell. In those two games, the Browns put the opposing quarterback under pressure for a ridiculous 54 percent of their dropbacks, according to Pro Football Focus. You need to do more against Herbert, who only completes 27 percent of his passes under pressure this season, drops his yards per try by 2.7 yards, and his quarterback rating drops nearly 20 points. Coming in after Herbert and getting off the field on the money downs should slow down a Chargers offensive that has scored 58 points in the past two weeks.

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