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Scouting Report: Chargers vs. Browns
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The San Diego Chargers aim to even their record when they return home after two straight road games to host the Cleveland Browns. Kickoff at Qualcomm Stadium is set for 1:05pm with tickets still available.
A Look Back At Last Week
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
On Offense for the Browns
Travis Benjamin has emerged as one of the best deep threat weapons in the NFL. He’s tied for the NFL lead with five touchdowns (four receiving and one punt return), and is the first Brown with a touchdown reception in three consecutive games since 2013. Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel have split time at quarterback thus far, with McCown expected to get the nod this week. He completed 28 passes for 341 yards and two touchdowns last week against the Oakland Raiders. On the ground, Isaiah Crowell leads the team with 128 yards and one touchdown.
On Defense for the Chargers
On Defense for the Brown
Two-time Pro Bowler Joe Haden is one of the most talented cornerbacks in the NFL, and has 16 tackles with one pass defensed this season. He’s joined in the backfield by fellow Pro Bowl free safety Tashaun Gipson, who has 19 tackles, one pass defensed and an interception on the year. Veteran inside linebacker Karlos Dansby leads the team with 25 tackles, while linebacker Armonty Bryant paces them with 2.0 sacks.
The Chargers and Browns meet for the 24th time with San Diego holding a 14-8-1 series edge. The Browns won the last meeting, 7-6, at Cleveland Browns Stadium in 2012, but the Chargers have won four of the last five and nine of the last 12. That includes three straight wins at home.
By the Numbers
Defensively, the Bolts rank ninth in total defense (325.0 ypg), third in passing (189.3 ypg), 28th in rushing (135.7 ypg) and 24th in points allowed (27.7). Cleveland ranks 27th in total defense (395.7 ypg), 14th in passing (237.3 ypg), 32nd in rushing (158.3 ypg) and 16th in points allowed (24.0).
Noteworthy vs. the Browns
In 2009, Philip Rivers was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for December. One of his games that month was against Cleveland when he recorded a season-high 140.8 passer rating. That afternoon, he led the Chargers to a 30-23 win while completing 18 of 25 for 373 yards and two touchdowns.
In 2012, Melvin Ingram had a team-high three quarterback pressures and his first career sack in a game at Cleveland.
Playing for Kansas City in 2010, Brandon Flowers returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown in a 16-14 win over the Browns. Flowers also had a pick when the teams met in 2009.
Playing for the New York Jets in 2007, Kellen Clemens scored his first career rushing touchdown, while setting season highs for completions (24) and yards (286) in a December game against the Browns. His yardage total remains a career high.
Playing for Indianapolis in 2012, Ricardo Mathews made the first start of his NFL career against the Browns.
Playing for Miami in 2011, Jimmy Wilson recorded the first interception of his NFL career when he picked off Colt McCoy.
Milestones on the Horizon
Philip Rivers is expected to start his 148th straight game on Sunday, which would tie Russ Washington’s franchise record. Washington played from 1970-80. Rivers’ streak of 147 straight starts is the NFL’s second-longest active streak behind Eli Manning’s 171.
Rivers also ranks 14th all-time with 257 career touchdown passes. Dave Krieg ranks 13th with 261.
Malcom Floyd needs two catches to reach 300 for his career. His 298 career catches are 10th in franchise history, and he needs 75 more to catch Wes Chandler (373) for ninth.
Floyd also currently has 32 career touchdown catches. He needs one more to move into a tie with Tony Martin for 10th in team history.
Eric Weddle has 19 career interceptions. He needs two more to climb into the team’s top 10 for career picks. Weddle also has 290 career interception return yards and needs 19 more to enter the team’s all-time top 10.
Fellow tight end David Johnson’s uncle, Cleo Miller, spent the 1975-82 seasons as a running back with the Browns.
Guard Johnnie Troutman’s cousin is Cleveland Cavaliers guard-forward, J.R. Smith.
Browns running back Shaun Draughn played in five games with the Bolts in 2014
Browns cornerback Kendall James spent time on San Diego’s practice squad in 2014.
Chargers special teams coordinator Kevin Spencer was an assistant coach in Cleveland from 1991-94. The man who hired Spencer at the Browns was Bill Belichick, who was then the head coach of the Browns.
Chargers wide receivers coach Fred Graves held the same position in Cleveland in 2004.
Strength and conditioning coach Kent Johnston joined the Chargers in 2013 after spending three seasons leading the strength and conditioning program for the Browns. Johnston’s assistant, Rick Lyle, also joined the Chargers in 2013 after four seasons as the assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Browns. Lyle played in Cleveland during the 1994-95 seasons.
Offensive quality control coach Shane Steichen spent the 2013 season as an offensive quality control coach in Cleveland, working with the Browns’ quarterbacks. Because of injuries, three Browns quarterbacks started multiple games that season with each passing for over 300 yards at least once. It marked the first time in franchise history and sixth time in NFL history that it had ever happened.
Chargers scout Kevin Kelly spent the 2001-08 seasons as an area scout with the Browns.
Fellow scout Donovan Beidelschies joined the Chargers from Cleveland in 2013. He spent eight seasons in Cleveland, including 2010- 12 as a college area scout. He spent two seasons as a team operations coordinator (2005-06), two as a player personnel assistant–college scout (2007-08) and one as a scout (2009).
Browns assistant offensive line coach George DeLeone coached the Chargers’ offensive line in 1997.
Browns Quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell, a native of Carlsbad, Calif., played collegiately at La Costa Canyon High School and San Diego State before spending time with the Chargers in 2012.
Know Your Opponent
CBS (KFMB, Channel 8 in San Diego and KCBS, Channel 2 in Los Angeles and Orange County) – Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), Steve Beuerlein (analyst), Steve Tasker (analyst) and Scott Kaplan (reporter).
Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 (San Diego) and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles & Orange County) – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Curtis Conway (analyst) and Nick Hardwick (reporter).
Spanish Radio –XHFG 107.3 (San Diego) and KWKW 1330 AM (Los Angeles) – Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Dante Lazcano (analyst)
All Chargers radio broadcasts are now being streamed live on the team’s official website, www.chargers.com. XTRA Sports 1360 Broadcasts with Josh Lewin (play-by-play) and Curtis Conway (analyst) will begin two hours before kickoff and continue for 90 minutes of postgame coverage.
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