Photo credit: ninersnation.com
By Jeremy Harness
SANTA CLARA–The 49ers are the only unbeaten team left in the NFC, something that has not happened in a very long time. Let that sink in for a little bit.
OK, good. Now that’s out of the way, on to the next order of business. And these aren’t the same Cleveland Browns that we have been accustomed to for the past few years.
In fact, the team that will be inside Levi’s Stadium to face the 49ers Monday night just knocked off the Baltimore Ravens on the road last Sunday, and they will have some offensive momentum going their way after the 40-25 win.
Baker Mayfield, who has taken a bit of heat in the media for his erratic decision-making, has seemed to get things together for the time being, as he hung 342 passing yards and a touchdown on the notoriously-tough Baltimore defense.
The Browns, however, will be facing a much-improved 49ers defense that has paved the way to their winning the first three games of the 2019 season. They also have an issue with injuries, as receiver Jarvis Landry, who torched the Ravens secondary last week, is currently in concussion protocol and is not a guarantee to play Monday night.
Cleveland may have a capable fill-in for Landry, however. Antonio Callaway, who was suspended for the first four games due to a substance abuse violation, will be eligible to play against the 49ers and is likely to be the No. 2 wideout opposite Odell Beckham, Jr. if Landry is not able to play.
Meanwhile, the 49ers need to figure out a replacement for corner Ahkello Witherspoon, who will miss about a month with a foot sprain. And they need to find it fact, if they are going to limit the potent Cleveland offense.