3 Stats That Prove the Browns are Legitimate Super Bowl Contenders
The Cleveland Browns are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2002 and head into a Wild Card matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. The Browns enter this AFC North battle as 5.5-point underdogs, according to FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL playoff odds.
People may underestimate the Browns, but there is a reason they made the postseason. Cleveland went 11-5 on the season and have shown they have what it takes to go toe to toe with any team in the league. With that in mind, Here are three stats that prove the Colts are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
1. 148.4 Rushing Yards per Game
It's no secret that the Browns' offense heavily relies on the rushing attack and for good reason. Cleveland's 148.4 rushing yards per game ranks as the third highest total in the NFL. In fact, starter Nick Chubb's 5.6 yards per carry is the second-highest average among NFL running backs this season. The Browns have a unique advantage in the playoffs in that they should be able to control the clock by running the ball as long as they can keep the score close. The one-two punch of Chubb and Kareem Hunt may be the best backfield duo in the playoffs right now.
2. 26 Sacks Allowed
Teams that are able to keep their quarterback upright and give him time in the pocket thrive in the NFL. The Browns are a perfect example of that as they have given up 26 sacks on the season, which ranks as the eighth-lowest total in the league. Every team that ranks in the top 9 of this statistic is in the playoffs. This proves that the Browns have something in common with all of these other powerhouse teams. Cleveland's stellar group of linemen is bolstered by 2021 pro bowler Joe Bitonio and finished as PFF's highest graded offensive line in the NFL this season. Their play will be a major part of the Brown's success moving forward.
3. 44.9% Third Down Conversion Percentage
You cannot win games in the NFL without converting third downs and the Browns did so at a rate of 44.9% this season. That percentage ranked as the seventh-highest in the league and sixth-highest among the 14 teams in the playoffs. Along with a solid running game, converting third downs is what runs the clock and keeps your team's offense out on the field while the opposing offense sits on the sidelines. Each of the last four Super Bowl champions ranked within the top 10 in third down conversion percentage. This part of the Browns' offense will be vital if they want to keep up with some of the other dangerous offenses in the postseason.
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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.