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10 Insights: Why the Running Game Could Decide Browns-Bolts

10Insights_Week5

Below are 10 quick-hitting insights ahead of the Chargers' Week 5 matchup against the Cleveland Browns:

1) Over the last two weeks against AFC West opponents — both wins — Justin Herbert is 51-of-76 for 503 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions (passer rating of 116.3). Per NFL Media Research, Herbert is one of six quarterbacks with 40 or more passing touchdowns in his first 20 starts in the Super Bowl era. Sunday will be his 20th start. 

2) Entering Week 5, running back Austin Ekeler has the second-most scrimmage yards in the NFL among running backs with 424. He has three straight games with over 100 yards from scrimmage, including a career-high 117 rushing yards on Monday night against the Raiders. Cleveland has yet to allow a 50-yard rusher in a game this season, per NFL Media Research.

3) The Chargers will be challenged with slowing Cleveland's rushing attack. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have combined for 596 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Chubb, Hunt and Ekeler are among eight players entering Week 5 averaging over 5.0 yards per carry (minimum 40 attempts).

4) Chargers right tackle Storm Norton was teammates with Hunt at Toledo, blocking for the star running back from 2013-16. Norton is slated to make his fourth straight start against Cleveland.

5) Sunday will feature two of the elite pass rushers in football when Joey Bosa and Myles Garrett share the field at SoFi Stadium. Garrett has six sacks and 13 quarterback hits entering Week 5. Bosa has 2.5 sacks and six quarterback hits. According to Next Gen Stats, Cleveland (38.7) and L.A. (34.8) both rank top-three in quarterback pressure percentage.

6) Chargers rookie tackle Rashawn Slater will likely see Garrett across from him during the game. He will not play against his college teammate, Browns cornerback Greg Newsome II, who was ruled out by the team with a calf injury. The pair made history this year as the only Northwestern Wildcats to be selected in the first round of the same draft.

7) Los Angeles is allowing 18.5 points and 332 yards per game — seventh and ninth in the NFL, respectively. The Chargers are also plus-five in turnover differential in their last two games. Cleveland is allowing 16.8 points (fourth) and 250.3 yards per game (second).

8) Wide receiver Keenan Allen is set to make his 100th NFL start this Sunday. On the same day, he could notch his 30th career 100-yard game. Allen opened the 2021 season with two games over 100 yards receiving. He is third in the NFL in targets.

9) The last time these two teams played was on October 14, 2018 in Cleveland. The Chargers won 38-14 to improve to 4-2. Ekeler had seven rushes for 60 yards. Allen had 103 total yards.

10) The Chargers are 17-9-1 all-time against the Browns and 8-4 at home. They haven't lost a home game to Cleveland since 1991.

Check out the best photos from the Bolts Thursday practice at Hoag Performance Center.

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