FBG says: Great matchup. The Cleveland Browns passing attack continues to disappoint in 2019, as Baker Mayfield has taken a step back following his rookie season instead of the step forward many had hoped for and projected. Head coach and play-caller Freddie Kitchens has seemingly done this offense no favors, as he seems overwhelmed now that he is in charge of the entire operation. At wide receiver, Mayfield's top two targets are obvious, with Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham, Jr. dominating across the board with team-leading numbers at targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Landry's role in the offense has grown over the last month, as he leads the team in all four of those metrics, and all signs point to him continuing as the team's number-one receiver down the stretch. Tight end David Njoku returned last weekend after a lengthy stint on the injured reserve, and although he did not impress in his first game back, a soft matchup against the Arizona Cardinals could ease him back into action this weekend.
Arizona's pass defense has been equally as miserable this season as they were last season. In 2019, they rank dead-last in passing yardage allowed, passing touchdowns allowed, and fourth-to-last in net yards per attempt allowed through the air. Aside from edge rusher Chandler Jones, who ranks 2nd in the NFL with 14 sacks to his name this season, there is little to be excited about with this defense. The rest of the defensive front offers little support rushing the quarterback, and their linebackers are horrific in pass coverage. Jordan Hicks and Hasson Reddick are a leading reason that the Cardinals rank dead-last in the NFL in fantasy points allowed per game to opposing tight ends. Lastly, in the secondary, Budda Baker, who is capable of defending the slot as well as playing safety, is the only above-average pass defender in the unit. Even veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson, who missed the early part of the season due to a suspension, has struggled since returning to the fold in 2019. Overall, this is a dismal pass defending unit, and if Baker Mayfield and the Browns cannot piece together a strong day through the air this weekend, it could signal significant long-term problems for Cleveland.