Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns week 1 Ebony Bird round table
People say Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. I would argue that the opening Sunday of the NFL season tops it.
Here we go again, folks! The Baltimore Ravens open their 2020 season against their division foe Cleveland Browns. The hype surrounding this year’s Ravens team is as high as it’s been since I’ve begun watching them.
A great secondary, coupled by a re-enhanced defensive line, and a young linebacking core led by first-rounder Patrick Queen, are looking to pick up, if not outperform where they were last season. On the flip side, the offense simply became more potent. The addition of J.K. Dobbins to an already lethal backfield has been rated by many as the steal of the draft. On the outside, rookie receivers Devin Duvernay and James Proche, are looking to solidify a young room of playmakers. That room is topped by second-year receiver, and off-season king, Marquise Brown. Of course, everything comes down to the MVP himself, Lamar Jackson. If he can even replicate half of the season he had last season, the offense won’t skip a beat.
Let’s turn to the game itself. The Browns arrive in town on the hype train once again. After a very solid upgrade to the offensive line and adding Austin Hooper to Baker Mayfield’s arsenal, Cleveland, on paper, looks like a playoff team. The Baltimore front seven will have an early chance to prove themselves going up against one of, if not the, best running back tandems in the league. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt complement one another very well, a thunder and lightning duo if you will. The secondary of Baltimore will also have their hands full facing Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Add in Hooper and David Njoku and the Browns have all the weapons to make this a competitive game.
However, Baltimore’s offense has the opportunity to be just as lethal. The Browns’ secondary has been pummeled by the injury bug. Corners Greedy Williams and Kevin Johnson will both miss week one with respective injuries. Rookie safety Grant Deloitte was lost in camp, and although the Browns did acquire Ronnie Harrison from the Jaguars, they will miss Delpit’s skill-set dearly.
Lamar Jackson has the chance to display his arm talent in back to back week ones. Am I calling a week one decimation of the Cleveland Browns? Why yes, yes I am. I think the Ravens offense has a field day with a weak secondary. I believe we will see an air raid attack, led by “Hollywood” Brown and third-year tight end, Mark Andrews. The running game will be there if needed, but I don’t think it will be. In an early division matchup, Baltimore proves their dominance and shows that last year wasn’t a fluke.
Hot Take- Marquise Brown goes for 200+ yards and 3 touchdowns.
Ravens 45 – Browns 13