This week I spoke with Chris Pokorny of Dawgs by Nature to see what kind of cosmic curse the Browns have been suffering from for the past few decades. Don’t worry Womens Torrey Smith Jersey , I’m fairly certain it’s not contagious.Chris was kind enough to let us in on the secret to Baker Mayfield’s success and share the Browns ever so slight hopes of making the playoff this year. Unfortunately, he also took time out of his day to slander the good name of Tyrod Taylor. I was all set to root for the Browns —because how can you root against them?— but now I suppose I have to remain a Panthers fan this week.Cat Scratch Reader: It’s looking like Denzel Ward won’t play on Sunday, depriving fans of the rookie match-up of the season. Who else do the Browns have to cover the Panthers emerging star wideout, D.J. Moore?Dawgs by Nature: There is a lot of uncertainty heading into Week 14 with the Browns’ defensive backs. Denzel Ward has been the top guy all season, but it seems like the concussion he suffered a week ago will keep him out. Returning to action for the first time since Week 4 is veteran cornerback Terrance Mitchell. He was cast as a special teamer heading into training camp this year as a free agent signing by the Chiefs, but he had a solid preseason and won a starting job. For the first four games, he played like a shutdown corner and was also aggressive in forcing two fumbles. A broken wrist sidelined him, but he is returning from IR this week. It is unknown if he will start right away, but if he does, that will be an intriguing match-up for Browns fans to see how he does.CSR: Baker Mayfield has been lighting the world on fire since taking over for Tyrod Taylor. What is the key to his success when compared to Taylor’s early season efforts?DBN: First, Tyrod Taylor was just a major letdown. His accuracy was much worse than I anticipated and he had the weird mix of not taking enough changes yet still throwing interceptions when he did take chances. Baker Mayfield is just a much better passer and has a natural leadership quality to him to motivate his peers. Mayfield struggled in the first half of last week’s game by being caught off guard with players dropping into zone coverage -- something that plagued him in his first few starts but disappeared as of late -- but he rebounded in the second half with some of the more unbelievable throws you’ll see on tape this season. Mayfield has really fallen into a groove after the dismissal of Hue Jackson and Todd Haley. The playbook utilizes the running backs much more in the passing game Authentic Cam Newton Jersey , and Mayfield is so comfortable knowing where his receivers are to get the ball out quickly -- he hasn’t been sacked in the past three games!CSR: The Browns have a shot at a winning record this season. Finishing 8-7-1 would require them to win out, but it is still possible with only 4 weeks left in the regular season. There isn’t a question here, I’m just genuinely happy for Browns fans.DBN: We’re happy too! If you guys have been following the confidence polls that SB Nation does, the Browns are above the 90% mark. It helps when you have back-to-back first overall picks to get excited about, and you see that neither one is a bust. The firing of Hue Jackson also gave the fanbase and the team a jolt. Fans are hoping for the best finish possible to the season, but either way, the optimism is sky-high heading into the offseason.CSR: The Panthers have struggled to protect Cam Newton during their four game losing streak. The left side of their offensive line has struggled against both four man rushes and blitzes on critical downs and in late game situations. What is the state of the Browns pass rush and how blitz happy is Gregg Williams’ defense?DBN: I would label the Browns’ pass rush as a mixed bag. Myles Garrett has been great and is tied for 4th in the NFL with 11.5 sacks, but overall, when you factor in the number of times that Gregg Williams blitzes and the offensive lines Cleveland has faced who struggle, I would say that the Browns do not have a pass rush that can “take over” a game. Cleveland had about 4 sacks against Deshaun Watson last week, but only one of them may have really impacted a drive Authentic DJ Moore Jersey , for example. Cam Newton may take a few hits, but our team just struggled containing a mobile quarterback and that may be the case again this week.CSR: The Panthers need to win now to save Ron Rivera’s job. What is the Browns’ motivation at this point in the season and what do you think the final score will be?DBN: As unlikely as it may seem, the Browns still have a slight shot at the playoffs, so they are going to be fighting for that and looking to make up for last week’s slow start against the Texans. Also, offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams each have slight chances at keeping their jobs -- either as coordinator/head coach, or both being coordinators while someone like Bruce Arians comes to take over the head coaching role. Both of those guys are going all out with their play-calling, and when you have players who experienced so much losing and now have a taste of winning, they want more of that. Getting motivated for these last four games of the season will not be an issue whatsoever, and I think the Browns will continue the Panthers losing streak with a 28-24 outcome. The Carolina Panthers need a defensive end —really, two defensive ends— more than anything else in 2019. The retirement of Julius Peppers has left the team with only three athletes under contract at the position: Mario Addison, Efe Obada Authentic James Bradberry Jersey , and Marquis Haynes. The rest of the contributors from last season are free agents at present and shouldn’t be considered as top targets for the team given their contributions helped usher Ron Rivera’s once vaunted defense to a 27th place finish for sacks in the league last season.Pass rushers have the ability to make or break a game for a team in a way that is only surpassed by quarterbacks. Because of this, they are one of the most sought after positions in free agency and the draft. The Panthers, with a laundry list of needs and only $18 million in cap space, probably can’t afford to get in the kind of bidding wars it takes to land premier talent. They have to invest in defensive end and they are going to have to do that through the draft.Later today we are going to talk about the odds of hitting on useful defensive end talent through the draft in every round and we are going to talk about current general manager Marty Hurney’s history with drafting defensive end.For now, we are just going to consider how insane it is that the Panthers have such a dearth of talent at such an important position. In 2017, former general manager Dave Gettleman traded up in the third round to draft former Panthers defensive end Daeshon Hall. He had a negligible impact with the team before being released in September of last year. Last year, Hurney traded up in the fourth round to draft undersized defensive end Haynes, who has had a similar impact to Hall in his one season with the team. Obada, while having a great story, doesn’t have a great deal of experience to recommend him yet.The departure of Peppers means that there is neither a past nor a future of the position on the team today. Obada is a gamble and Haynes hasn’t shown enough to warrant any prognostication. The Panthers can’t afford to take mid to late round fliers on possible talents anymore. Addison will turn 32 this season. The Panthers have an immediate need for talent and youth at a position of nearly unparalleled importance for their defense. There is no telling how low the floor is for that entire unit in 2019 if they don’t walk out of the draft with a day one starter at defensive end.