“Shorestein Says” 2019 NFL Week 5 Pick

Cleveland @ San Francisco -3.5:  I think this is a perfect opportunity to fade the Freddie Kitchens led Browns.  They travel to the west coast in their second consecutive road game.  I would not be surprised to see the Browns have a let down after they blew out the Ravens.  Young, overconfident teams with poor leadership are prone to let downs, especially after runaway victories.  San Francisco is also coming off a bye, in which I guarantee the #1 point of emphasis was ball security.  As you probably recall, they turned the ball over a whopping 5 times against a lifeless Pittsburgh team.  Expect to see a sharper Garoppolo and no fumbles.

Cleveland has been the definition of an inconsistent, poorly disciplined team so far this year.  The Browns are committing 92+ yards of penalties per game this season, which is by far the most in the NFL.  To give that some perspective, the Falcons are the next worst team at about 78 yards per.  Net yards per point margin is one of the best statistics to analyze when evaluating coaching effectiveness.  The Browns rest at 24th in that category, while the 49ers are 8th.  As a reminder, this statistic generally measures offensive/defensive red zone effectiveness, penalties taken, turnovers committed/forced, and quality of yards given up.  (New England ranks 1st in this category currently as they do almost every season….)

I think Cleveland is most vulnerable on the offensive line.  The 49ers will certainly have favorable matchups across the board as they have a deep and athletic pass rush.  They’ve been a great pass defense so far in this season:

The hype appears to have been restored in Cleveland.  I still don’t believe that it is deserved.

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