Through the first quarter of the 2019 regular season, the Browns have tempered much of the outside panic after splitting their first four games, pushing them atop the AFC North. However, there have been some notable trends developing with their play both at home and on the road in the early goings.
Browns’ offense sputtering at home
Playing within the confines at home typically is where teams find the bulk of their success. This simply hasn’t been the case this year for the Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium after dropping their first two contests.
The majority of these issues have stemmed from their utter lack of offensive production, putting up 13 points in each game while combining to go 3-of-6 in the red zone with four total turnovers and eight sacks allowed. It has simply been a complete struggle for that unit to find the consistency to put together sustainable scoring drives.
Meanwhile, they have had nearly the exact opposite success on the road, averaging 31.5 points, 452.5 total offensive yards and 7.5 yards per play. The Browns have looked like the potent team on that side of the ball that many have envisioned helping catapult them to a pair of double-digit wins.
Baker Mayfield finding success away from Cleveland
The first few games of the season have also given a solid snapshot of the struggles Mayfield has had at home in comparison to his strong play on the road.
The Oklahoma product has had some notable woes at FirstEnergy Stadium, throwing for 480 yards on a 58.1% completion rate with four interceptions to two touchdowns with a 64.0 passer rating. The bulk of those shortcomings may have come in the 43-13 season opener loss to the Tennessee Titans, but it’s hard to look past it entirely.
Mayfield has been a different quarterback on the road, recording 667 passing yards on a 60% completion rate with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He is coming off his best outing of the season in the 40-25 win over the Baltimore Ravens, completing 20-of-30 passes for a season-high 342 yards with a touchdown and a 102.4 passer rating.
The Browns also had some significant balance the game with running back Nick Chubb notching 165 rushing yards and three touchdowns. His numbers may not be spectacular, but he has clearly shown to be a far more competent and effective quarterback on the road through the first month of his second campaign.
Browns’ home-turf defensive woes
Among the three notable issues at home, their defensive splits have stood out the least given their overall play.
At the same time, there have been some struggles on that side of the ball giving up 31.5 points, 341.5 offensive yards per contest, 20.5 first downs, 5.7 yards per play, six sacks, two interceptions and allowed opponents to go 5-of-7 on red-zone trips. The splits on the road have been better allowing 14.0 points per contest, 328.5 offensive yards, 18.5 first downs, eight sacks, four interceptions and 2-of-3 on the opponent’s red-zone trips.
It should be noted that the team has had some one-sided affairs that have tilted the overall statistics. The Browns allowed 43 points to the Titans while limiting the Sam Darnold-less New York Jets to three points in Week 3. These performances have each made notable opposing impacts, but more importantly, have shown their stark differences in Cleveland’s play on that side of the ball.
The struggles at home may be concerning, but the fact that the Browns have already found success on the road could be a huge factor down the line this season.