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Analysis

Chargers 38, Browns 14: The breakdown — thumbs up, thumbs down, the matchups

THUMBS UP

Tyrell Williams, Chargers receiver

He didn’t mess around. He was targeted four times and caught three passes for 118 yards, including touchdowns of 45 and 29 yards.

The second quarter belonged to the 6-foot-4, 205-pounder who entered with 13 catches for 192 yards and a touchdown. He caught a 44-yard pass, then the 45-yard score on a two-play, 89-yard drive for a 14-3 lead. He wrestled the ball away from free safety Damarious Randall in the end zone.

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He followed with the 29-yard score, beating rookie cornerback Denzel Ward on a post.

“Tyrell has been trying to go out and high-point the ball,” coach Anthony Lynn said. “It’s just something that just didn’t come natural with him. That’s just this guy developing into a complete receiver, and he works at it. His work ethic is just as good as anybody’s on this team. I’m not surprised to see him do it, but I’m glad he made the play.”

THUMBS DOWN

Myles Garrett, Browns defensive end

Taking over a game will have to wait at least another week for the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft.

Garrett talked Friday about the need for him to reach the next level and dominate a game. He then went out and had a tackle, two quarterback hits, drew a holding penalty and had a pass defensed as the Chargers piled up 449 yards. After four sacks in the first three games, he has one over the last three. Garrett was also exposed in the run game, as he failed to set the edge against the jet sweep.

“We were doing an array of things, whether that was double teams upfront or some pulling plays,” Chargers left tackle Russell Okung said. “Myles is an incredible player. He can play the pass, he can play the run and he can give guys fits all day. The kid is incredible. As a team, this weekend we got the best of that defense.”

PLAY OF THE GAME

Randall thought he had his third interception and fourth takeaway of the year. Then the official came in and ruled it a touchdown for Williams.

With 6:43 left in the second quarter from the Cleveland 45-yard line, Chargers quarterback heaved a pass for Williams in the left side of the end zone. He was surrounded by three defenders, including Randall, who was tracking the ball. He leaped, got his hands on it and started to descend. Williams reached in and took possession, at least according to the official.

“When the ball was about halfway there, I thought it was intercepted,” Rivers said. “Tyrell did a great job.”

Randall insisted it should’ve been ruled an interception.

“I caught it clean and I was just falling back and he just happened to be the guy that was laying there and when the ref came over there we were both tussling because he was trying to grab it from me at that point, and the ref seen it as we’re both tussling and 50-50 goes to the receiver,” he said.


STAT OF THE GAME

1

Third down converted by the Chargers in nine tries. It didn’t matter, as they scored 38 points, had 24 first downs and totaled 449 yards.

QUOTE OF THE GAME

“Because when somebody comes into your home stadium and just punches you in the mouth like that, that is going to make you re-evaluate a lot of things. That is going to make you study a little harder the next week, that is going to make you get a little more focus the next week.” — Browns free safety Damarious Randall on why more can be learned from a blowout loss.


MATCHUPS

Offense

The Browns dropped two passes that would’ve been touchdowns and didn’t cross the goal line until the fourth quarter. Baker Mayfield looked out of sorts from the start, then tweaked his ankle.

Quarterback Philip Rivers was good for the Chargers, while running back Melvin Gordon and receiver Tyrell Williams were great.

Edge: Chargers

Defense

The Browns got gashed on the same plays over and over, blowing assignments and missing tackles.

Chargers cornerback Desmond King had two interceptions, and linemen Damion Square and Corey Liuget had 1.5 sacks apiece.

Edge: Chargers

Special teams

Jabrill Peppers had a 33-yard punt return and averaged 12.8 on four tries, providing a long-awaited spark. Greg Joseph made 33- and 28-yard field goals.

King set up Los Angeles’ first score with a 32-yard punt return, and kicker Michael Badgley didn’t miss in his NFL debut.

Edge: Even

Coaching

The Browns played like they had arrived after beating the Ravens last week, despite Hue Jackson promising to keep them grounded. They failed to adjust on offense or defense, which is an indictment of the coaching.

The game plan to keep Mayfield in the pocket was spot-on and may be the blueprint for defenses moving forward.

Edge: Chargers

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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