The Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) look to make it three in a row when they head to Cleveland to take on the Browns (2-2-1). Kickoff from FirstEnergy Stadium is set for 10:00am PT.
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
A red-hot Philip Rivers leads the offense onto the field in the midst of one of the most prolific starts to a season to date. His 13 touchdown passes tie a career-high through five games and are the second-most in the NFL behind Patrick Mahomes’ 14. Overall, number 17 has completed 122 of 174 attempts (70.1 percent) for 1,495 yards, 13 touchdowns and two picks for a 116.4 passer rating. The offensive line has done a tremendous job blocking for him as Rivers has been sacked only six times, tied for the fewest in the NFL for quarterbacks who have started all five games this season. Rivers’ top target continues to be Keenan Allen, who has hauled in 32 passes for 372 yards and one touchdown. Meanwhile, three players have caught three touchdown passes each in Melvin Gordon, Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler. Speaking of Gordon, he’s found the end zone a total of six times as he also has three rushing scores. Number 28 has toted the rock 73 times for 334 yards (4.6 ypg).
On Offense for the Browns
Since taking the field and sparking the Browns to a Week 3 win over the New York Jets, Baker Mayfield has made Cleveland’s offense a force to be reckoned with. He’ll be making his third start come Sunday, and thus far has completed 63 of 107 attempts (58.9 percent) for 838 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions for an 81.4 passer rating. Jarvis Landry is Cleveland’s primary weapon in the passing game, making his presence felt in his first year with the team. The wideout has caught a team-high 29 passes for 381 yards and one score. Meanwhile, tight end David Njoku has also emerged as a dangerous weapon, ranking second on the team with 20 catches for 190 yards. The Browns’ ground game is led by veteran Carlos Hyde, whose 100 carries rank second in the league, one shy of Todd Gurley’s 101 totes. Hyde has run for 348 yards and five touchdowns, which also ranks as the second most in the NFL.
On Defense for the Chargers
Denzel Perryman will be front and center against the Browns’ lethal ground game as the hard-hitting linebacker leads the Bolts with 38 total tackles. Rookie safety Derwin James ranks second with 35 tackles to go along with his team-leading 3.0 sacks and six passes defensed. Meanwhile, Melvin Ingram is fresh off his best game of the season. The Pro Bowler enters Week 6 having totaled 17 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss, eight QB hits and one interception through five games.
On Defense for the Browns
Fourth-overall pick Denzel Ward has showed why he was drafted so high as the rookie cornerback is tied for the league lead with three picks. He’s also totaled 25 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and six passes defensed on the year. Meanwhile, Cleveland boasts one of the NFL’s premier pass rushers in Myles Garrett. The defensive end has already registered five sacks, two forced fumbles and 21 tackles on the season
The Chargers lead the all-time series 16-9-1, owning an 8-5-1 record on the road in Cleveland. The Bolts defeated the Browns last season, 19-10, as Philip Rivers completed 31 passes for 334 yards while Keenan Allen became the first player in NFL history to have at least 10 receptions, 100 receiving yards and one touchdown catch in three straight games.
By the Numbers
The Chargers rank seventh in total offense (405.0 ypg), 13th in passing (289.6 ypg), 11th in rushing (115.6 ypg) and eighth in points (27.4). The Browns rank 16th in total offense (376.0 ypg), 23rd in passing (231.4 ypg), second in rushing (144.6 ypg) and 20th in points (22.8).
Defensively, the Bolts rank 15th in total defense (365.0 ypg), 19th in passing (270.2 ypg), 10th in rushing (95.6 ypg) and 21st in points allowed (26.0). Cleveland ranks 27th in total defense (398.0 ypg), 27th in passing (281.4 ypg), 22nd in rushing (116.6 ypg) and 12th in points allowed (22.6).
Milestones on the Horizon
Antonio Gates needs ﬁve catches to reach 941 for his career and pass Hall of Fame WR Art Monk (940) for No. 19 in NFL history.
Gates needs ﬁve receiving yards to reach 11,620 for his career and pass WR Calvin Johnson for 29th in NFL history.
Melvin Ingram needs 2.5 sacks to reach 40.0 for his career and become the seventh player in team history to reach that mark.
Derwin James needs 1.5 more sacks to reach 4.5 for the season for the most single-season sacks by a rookie defensive back in NFL history.
James needs 0.5 sacks and an interception to become the ﬁrst defensive rookie with at least 3.5 sacks and two interceptions since Washington OLB Zach Brown did so in 2012 while with Tennessee.
Keenan Allen needs 100-plus receiving yards to post the 20th 100-yard game of his career to tie WR Wes Chandler for the sixth-most in team annals.
Melvin Gordon needs three rushing scores to reach 24 for his career and move into sole possession of No. 6 on the team’s all-time rushing touchdowns list.
Gordon needs eight catches to pass Danny Woodhead (167) for No. 5 in career receptions among running backs in team history.
Gordon needs 53 receiving yards to pass Darren Sproles (1,400) for No. 7 in career receiving yards among running backs in team history.
Gordon needs 82 receiving yards to pass Danny Woodhead (1,429) for No. 6 in career receiving yards among running backs in team history.
Gordon needs one touchdown catch to become the seventh running back in Chargers history with 10 career receiving touchdowns.
Gordon needs two touchdown catches to tie Darren Sproles (11) for No. 7 in receiving touchdowns by a running back in Chargers history.
Gordon needs 122 scrimmage yards to pass Chuck Muncie (4,546) for No. 6 in team history by a running back.
Noteworthy vs. the Browns
In six career games versus Cleveland, Philip Rivers has completed 132 of 214 for 1,762 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception for a 98.3 rating and a record of 4-2. Rivers passed for 322 yards in the contest in 2016, his 51st career 300-yard game, to tie Dan Fouts for the most in franchise history.
Melvin Ingram had his ﬁrst multi-sack game (1.5) and a team-high three tackles for loss on Oct. 4, 2015.
In 2009, Antonio Gates set a career high with 167 receiving yards in a game at Cleveland.
On Dec. 19, 2004, the Chargers clinched the AFC West title with a win over the Browns on an 18-degree day that felt like minus-10 with the wind chill factor. It was the fourth-coldest game in franchise history.
Chargers WR Travis Benjamin played for the Browns from 2012-15.
Head Coach Anthony Lynn coached running backs for the Browns from 2007-08.
Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt coached special teams for the Browns in 1999.
Tight Ends Coach Rip Scherer was the Browns assistant head coach/quarterbacks from 2005-08.
Running Backs Coach Alfredo Roberts coached tight ends in Cleveland from 2012-15.
Quarterbacks Coach Shane Steichen was the offensive quality control for the Browns in 2013.
Quality Control-Offense Dan Shamash was on the coaching staff in Cleveland from 2009-10.
Strength and Conditioning Coach John Lott served in the same role for the Browns from 2005-06.
Browns Senior Offensive Coach Al Saunders was the head coach for the Chargers from 1986-88, following two seasons coaching wide receivers (1983-84).
Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Larry Jackson served in the same role for the Chargers in 2017.
CBS – Spero Dedes (play-by-play) and Adam Archuleta (analyst)
KFI-AM 640 – Matt “Money” Smith (play-by-play), Daniel Jeremiah (analyst) and Shannon Farren (sideline)
Spanish Radio: KFWB – AM 980 – Mario Solis (play-by-play) and Jorge Villanueva (analyst)
Chargers radio broadcasts throughout the season will be able to be heard across ten radio stations from Southern California to Nevada. Fans can listen in English on KGB-FM and KLSD-AM (San Diego), KNWZ-AM (Palm Springs), KALZ-AM (Fresno), KBFP-AM (Bakersfield), KNWH-FM (Yucca Valley), KRLV-FM (Las Vegas), KRAK-AM (Victorville) and KATY-FM (San Bernardino). Spanish broadcasts can be heard on XHFG-FM (San Diego).