NFL Week 5: Monday Night Football Pick & Prediction

Cleveland Browns @ San Francisco 49ers, Levi’s Stadium, 8:15 PM, ESPN (49ers -4.5, O/U: 48.5)

The Browns are hit or miss.  There’s a lot of characters involved with that roster, the big ego’s on the offense (Baker & OBJ) are exhausting and smothering the news on this team.  Baker has his moments but still makes poor “gunslinger” throws that get picked because he’s no Favre.  He’s completed just 59% of his passes and has 4 TD’s to 6 picks.  He can make plays, he can be fluid in the pocket, albeit better to the right than left.  Decision making is his big fault.  He does thrive on hyped up games where his talent is called into question which is what I feel his performance last week was based on adrenaline due to the comparison to Lamar Jackson and the story being pushed, who was a better draft pick?  OBJ was kept silent while the other big threat, Landry went off for season high 8 catches and career best 167 yards before sustaining a concussion to which he was released from concussion protocol late last week so expect to see him on the field.  The Browns defense are middle of the road for points and yards allowed however they are doing very well for themselves on the turnover side of things with 4 picks, 3 forced fumbles, 4 recovered fumbles and then 14 sacks to top all of that.  

Jimmy Garappolo is having a good start to the season as he’s completed 69% but his yardage is light with just 739 yards in 3 games and 5 TD’s to 4 picks but you have to remember, he was out all last year basically so the rust is expected.  Kyle Shanahan will have him up to speed starting with this game as he’s going to need to be extra sharp with the Browns defense even minus Ward in their secondary.  The team is surprisingly near the top in points scored, 2nd in the league with 96 in just 3 weeks as well as being 4th in team yards.  The defense has also been surprisingly strong, near the tops in the league in most team defensive stats including 3 picks, 3 forced fumbles, 5 recovered fumbles and 9 sacks.  Breida and Mostert will need to continue their tag team style who have combined for 428 yards on 75 carries, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.  Expect to see a strong outing for a fresh 49ers team at home.

Take the 49ers to cover in the over, 49ers 28-21.