The undefeated San Francisco 49ers host the 2-2 Cleveland Browns in Week 5 for Monday Night Football, and Niner Noise previews this prime-time matchup, which is key for both teams.
It’s weird to think the Week 5 Monday Night Football matchup is less a must-win game for the San Francisco 49ers than it is for the visiting Cleveland Browns.
But that’s the case, as the offseason-hyped Browns visit Levi’s Stadium for a prime-time matchup after starting off the 2019 campaign with a 2-2 record. The Niners, meanwhile, are fresh off their early season bye and remain the only undefeated squad in the NFC.
Cleveland has been somewhat hard to figure out this season. After a plethora of splashy moves earlier this year, which put the Browns into the discussion of being favorites in the AFC North, the team was walloped at home by the Tennessee Titans in Week 1, beat the lowly New York Jets on the road in Week 2, was outcoached by the visiting Los Angeles Rams in a loss during Week 3 before pulling off a dominant win over the Baltimore Ravens on the road in Week 4.
What version of the Browns will the 49ers get in Week 5?
There’s little doubting Cleveland’s talent. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the best offensive weapons in the game, while the Browns boast two elite-level edge rushers, Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon, who’ll aim to make life hell for Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Yet San Francisco has the advantage of an added week of rest and preparation for this contest, which gives head coach Kyle Shanahan extra time to game plan and prepare for this decisive contest.
Niner Noise previews this bout, looking at the comparisons between the two teams, quarterback matchups, X-factors and much, much more.