The Ravens are at an all time low after a beat down suffered at the hands of the Houston Texans, but need to focus and prepare for a week 9 fight against a scrappy Browns team. While it is true that the Browns aren’t exactly world beaters, it is also true that there is no such thing as a non-dangerous NFL team. The Browns have played every game since their loss to the Ravens tight and have even gotten a couple wins. With that in mind, lets take a look at some match-ups.
3. Joe Flacco vs. Browns CBs- This is a pretty even matchup. From top to Bottom the Browns secondary is solid but not spectacular with the exception of one man, Joe Haden. Haden is a top five player at his position and is a matchup nightmare. FLacco hasn’t been at his best on the road this year, but playing the Browns, a team he has never lost to, might be the cure for what ails him.
2. Ed Reed vs. Brandon Weeden- I wrote this 5 weeks ago and I will write it again now. The last time these two teams played, Brandon Weedon was terrified to go deep against the Ravens because of Reed. That resulted in 0 completions on 3 attempts. Weedon has been a very good deep threat QB all season, So I expect him to try it this week and Reed will make an impact one way or the other.
1. Ray Rice vs. Cleveland defense- In the two games last season against the Browns, Rice averaged over 145 yards and 30 receiving yards per game. Rice has been shredding the Browns defense for years and all signs indicate he should be able to continue that streak this season. The only thing holding him back is the potential for Cam Cameron to get a little cute with the game-plan and try and throw 50 times.
3. Cleveland Browns anger vs. Baltimore Ravens Slump- I wracked my brain for quite a while trying to think of a pure personnel mismatch that the Browns present, but the truth is there simply isnt a third option here. That said, the Ravens are in a bit of a slump. They have allowed 200+ rushing yards in 2 of the past 3 games and they are still trying to adjust to the all of the injuries that they have been stricken with. The Ravens need to pull themselves out of this mini slump quickly before they lose ground in the division.
2. Trent Richardson vs. Ravens front seven- Trent Richardson is coming off his best career game. He is an extremely dangerous player and should not be taken lightly just because he is a rookie. Richardson clearly has the Ravens respect, So it is doubtful they would be caught napping on him, but they still need to buckle up their chin straps and hit him.
1. Ravens Pass Rush vs. Browns Offensive Line- The Browns offensive line is similar to their secondary. they are a very solid group overall, but they are mostly built off the back of one player. In this case that player is Joe Thomas. Thomas, for my money, is the best tackle in the NFL by a pretty wide margin. The Ravens will have trouble getting any kind of pass rush on the left side with Thomas in the way. That means that the Browns know that on any given week most of the pass rush is going to try and attack their right side and they plan their blocking patterns accordingly. Joe Thomas awaits on the left side and double teams and chips await on the right side. This a tough line to get through. Suggs will help and has traditionally been solid against Thomas, but the Browns still easily have the upper hand in this battle, Especially without Pernell McPhee playing.