Stephen Nover Free NFL Play

On December 21, 2016, in Free Picks, NFL, by Stephen

Browns plus 6 hosting Chargers

Never before during the 11-year era of Philip Rivers have the Chargers endured a worst losing stretch, which has now reached 21 losses in their last 30 games.

Not only are the Chargers dead in the standings, but they have a dead man walking coach and a dead franchise with the team almost certain to move out of San Diego.

Now the warm-weathered Chargers have to fly on a short week to cold Cleveland on Christmas week to play the winless Browns. The forecast is calling for 80 percent chance of rain, 14 mph winds and temperatures in the 30’s. It’s an early starting time, too, for the Chargers at 10 a.m. West Coast time. Do you honestly believe any of the Chargers are excited about this game?

Maybe Rivers. The guy is the ultimate competitor. Unfortunately he’s become a turnover machine throwing 11 interceptions in the last five games trying to overcompensate and press too hard for the many deficiencies of his team. San Diego has turned the ball over 32 times. That’s the most in the NFL. By contrast, Cleveland has 11 fewer turnovers.

Injuries have struck the Chargers harder than maybe any other NFL team. Rivers isn’t likely to have Melvin Gordon, his best running back. That would leave the Chargers down to fifth-string rookie Kenneth Farrow again. Rivers also is without his top wide receiver Keenan Allen. The Chargers have been hard hit by injuries particularly at linebacker and in the secondary where their two best cornerbacks are out for the season. All together, the Chargers have 16 players on IR.

The Browns are dreadful. There’s no soft pedaling that. However, the Browns will have tremendous motivation to avoid a winless season. Cleveland finishes at Pittsburgh next week with the early number being Steelers favored by 16 1/2, according to the oddsmakers at the Westgate Hotel. So realistically the Browns know this is their shot.

Robert Griffin III will be making his third start since coming back from a shoulder injury that sidelined him 11 games. He’s improved each time since his return. I don’t think it’s a leap of faith to believe this will be his best game of the season. His NFL future is on the line. Griffin has better weapons than Rivers does – especially if Gordon is ruled out for a second straight week – with Isaiah Crowell, Terrelle Pryor and Corey Coleman. The Browns also have the best offensive lineman, Joe Thomas, and defensive back in Joe Haden.

The Browns won’t be outgunned here. They are the more motivated team and are at home to their loyal fans. Those are enough edges to provide the Browns their first and only victory of 2016.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *