NFL Football
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3
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Cleveland 0 3 0 0 3
San Francisco 14 7 7 3 31
31
5:15 PM PT6:15 PM MT7:15 PM CT8:15 PM ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 PM MST7:15 PM EST7:15 PM CT4:15 UAE (+1)20:15 ET23:15 , October 7, 2019
Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California  Weather: 87°, Clear  Attendance: 70,585

Browns-49ers Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Cleveland Browns at San Francisco 49ers

  1. The Browns are 12-7 all-time against the 49ers and have won four of the last five dating back to 1993. The Browns won their last matchup in 2015, 24-10, as they put up 481 yards of offense with Johnny Manziel under center.
  2. The Browns have combined for just 26 points in their two home games (both losses) but have scored 63 points in their two road games (both wins). They haven't won their first three road games of a season since 1994.
  3. San Francisco is 3-0 for the eighth time in franchise history and the first time since 1998. The Niners have only started 4-0 three times before and not since 1990.
  4. Nick Chubb ran for 165 yards and three touchdowns in Week 4 at Baltimore on just 20 attempts. The last Browns player before Chubb with 165+ rushing yards on 20 attempts or fewer was Jim Brown on September 22, 1963 at Dallas (20 attempts, 232 yards).
  5. Matt Breida (226) and Raheem Mostert (202) each have over 200 rushing yards, one of two teams with two such players this season despite playing just three games. The last 49ers duo to each have 200 rushing yards through three games of a season was Roger Craig and Wendell Tyler in 1985.
  6. The 49ers have given up just two sacks this season, fewest in the NFL. The Browns have sacked the quarterback 14 times this year, tied for fourth most in the league.
Team Comparison

Cleveland
 
San Francisco
22.3 Points 32.0
286.8 Pass Yds 251.7
115.0 Rush Yds 175.0
7 Takeaways 7
(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Three straight wins to open the season haven't erased all the doubts that four years of losing created for the San Francisco 49ers.

There was an ugly win over a perceived also-run in Tampa Bay, a blowout against overmatched Cincinnati and then a mistake-filled victory over Pittsburgh and backup quarterback Mason Rudolph.

Now the degree of difficulty starts to get much more difficult, starting with Monday night's home game against a Cleveland Browns team that has shown early signs of being a legitimate contender in the AFC North.

"A lot of people on this team don't get credit they deserve, so Monday we're going to showcase that," 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin said.

Skepticism surrounding the 49ers (3-0) and Browns (2-2) is warranted based on the recent history. The two franchises were the bottom two in the league over the previous four seasons, with Cleveland winning a league-low 11 games in that span and San Francisco not far ahead with only 17.

While a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback and a vastly improved defense have transformed the 49ers, the Browns have been a bit more inconsistent this season alternating losses with wins.

But they are hoping last week's 40-25 win at Baltimore is a sign of how a star-studded roster led by second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield, dynamic playmakers Odell Beckham Jr. and Nick Chubb, and dominant force Myles Garrett can be different than past Browns teams.

"We came out with a big win this past weekend, and I feel that just the energy is different," defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi said. "You can tell the guys are really fully buying into what we have going on in here and know that everything we want is in front of us. We just have to keep working."

Here are some other things to watch:

CHUBB-LE TROUBLE

Chubb's breakout game - and breakaway speed - helped the Browns snap out of their early season offensive funk and push past the Ravens last week. Chubb ran for 165 yards, 88 coming on a jaw-dropping touchdown run in which he was clocked at 21.95 mph, the fastest speed on a touchdown in the NFL this season.

The second-year back, who rushed for 996 yards as a rookie, could be Cleveland's best player. Coach Freddie Kitchens feels Chubb embodies everything the Browns are looking for.

"Every time the clock starts turning, you know what you are going to get from him," Kitchens said. "After all of that, you throw in his ability, his skillset, his desire inside within to be successful and his resilient nature and chasing being good. I do not know what else you want in a football player."

ON AN ISLAND

The 49ers suffered a significant loss in their latest win with a foot injury that will sideline cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon for at least a month. Witherspoon had been one of the bright spots for San Francisco this season as he bounced back from a rough second year. His injury will likely force Emmanuel Moseley into the starting lineup for the first time in his career. The Niners typically don't have top cornerback Richard Sherman follow No. 1 receivers, meaning Cleveland could force Moseley to match up often with Beckham.

"I'm excited for him," Sherman said. "He's an unknown to these people. And he won't be after this game. I think it will be a positive experience."

BECKHAM'S BLOCKING

Beckham came to Cleveland with a reputation as being selfish. Last week, he showed he's a team player. The Browns star made several key blocks last week in Baltimore, picking off or shielding defenders downfield on several long plays. The three-time Pro Bowler may be best known for his one-handed catches and fashion choices, but Kitchens said Beckham's willingness to do whatever's necessary is a sign that he's bought into Cleveland's program.

GO TO SKULE

The other major injury the 49ers are dealing with is at left tackle, where veteran Joe Staley will miss at least six weeks with a broken leg. Rookie Justin Skule held his own in his first start two weeks ago against Pittsburgh and Bud Dupree. But he will have a much tougher task this week against Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in 2017 who has six sacks through four games.

ROAD TESTED

The Browns are 2-0 on the road for the first time since 1994, when they won their first three games outside Cleveland. That's an impressive jump for a team that didn't win any games - home or away - just two years ago. It's been a challenging start to the season for the Browns, who will be playing in their third prime-time game in five weeks.

"Anytime you leave Cleveland, it is difficult," Kitchens said. "You mentioned the length of travel, and that adds another piece of adversity. A Monday night game adds another piece of adversity - more attention. This team is doing a lot of things for the first time. I think they have handled it very well."

ALL-AROUND THREAT

A few eyebrows were raised around the league in the 2017 offseason when the Niners gave fullback Kyle Juszczyk a $21 million, four-year contract in an era when many teams have gone away from two-back sets. But Juszczyk is a key part of coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, allowing him to dictate matchups. That was clearly the case in San Francisco's most recent game two weeks ago against Pittsburgh. He made a diving 27-yard catch, stiff-armed Minkah Fitzpatrick to the ground on a 22-yard catch and run, added one more short reception and strong run-blocking in a performance that garnered more attention than usual to a player who only touches the ball a handful of times a game.

"When he makes some plays like that in the pass game, I think he gets a little more credit and it's deserved," Shanahan said.

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AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Berea, Ohio, contributed to this report

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Updated October 3, 2019

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