Browns Vs. 49ers: Cleveland Has Tall Task In Trip To San Francisco

Follow the Browns over at Dawgs By Nature, while all your San Francisco conversation is happening at Niners Nation.

Is there a hotter team in the NFL right now than the San Francisco 49ers?  Perhaps the Green Bay Packers, but after the defending Super Bowl Champ, Jim Harbaugh's Niners are as hot as it gets.  San Francisco has won four straight and sit atop the NFC West at 5-1.

That is the task ahead of the Browns, making their second trip to the Bay Area in three weeks after losing to the Oakland Raiders 24-17 on October 16.  Cleveland did pick up a victory on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, but the Browns(3-3) know they will have to be better if they are going to upset Alex Smith and company.

Any interesting dynamic in the game could be the Browns pass defense, which currently ranks No. 2-overall in the NFL(172 yards per game) against the Niners' pass offense which sits 31st-overall(171 yards per game).  San Francisco has relied on Frank Gore and the running game - 6th in the NFL(131.5 ypg) while the Niners defense is 2nd-overall in the NFL against the run(74.7 ypg).

San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith has found new life under the tutelage of former NFL quarterback and head coach Jim Harbaugh.  The former first-round pick is completing over 63% of his passes and has thrown eight touchdowns to just 2 interceptions.  Add that to Frank Gore's 541 yards on the ground to go along with 4 touchdowns and it is easy to see why the Niners have been so successful this season.

Tight end Vernon Davis is Smith's favorite target with 24 receptions and three touchdowns.  Former Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards has found a home in San Francisco as well, but is questionable on Wednesday with an injury.

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