Baltimore Ravens: 3 steps to beating the Cleveland Browns
Cleveland has a difficult offense to play against. They are tied for the second-most prolific rushing attack in the league at 157.8 yards per game and have weapons at their disposal in the passing game to take advantage of play-action off that rushing attack. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt average 6.0 and 4.3 yards per attempt, respectively, and they run behind a talented offensive line.
The Ravens need to be disciplined in their rush defense and need Brandon Williams and Derek Wolfe to be at their best. Any contribution from an ailing Calais Campbell would obviously help, as well. Patrick Queen must stick to his assignments and not get caught turned around, because those play-action passes behind him could spell trouble. Look for Chuck Clark to be a key contributor in this game, for both his run and pass defense. The Ravens’ defense appears to be a strength in this game, as they surrender more than a touchdown less a game than Cleveland.
It needs to be strong in this game, and the corners must show they can cover one-on-one so the rest of the unit can focus heavily on the Browns’ run game.
That’s just a fun word when describing football, right? Well, it needs to be a focus of the Ravens offense — particularly in the run game.
The Browns rank eighth in the NFL in run defense, only allowing 104.3 yards per game, largely because of the dominance of their defensive line. Conversely, the Ravens lead the league, once again, in rushing offense, registering 169 yards per game. Something has to give, right?
The Ravens need to give the Browns a heavy dose of Gus Edwards and rookie breakout performer J.K. Dobbins, and coaches need to be in Lamar Jackson‘s ear that this is a game where it is perfectly fine to tuck and run whenever green space is visible in front of him. Picking up first downs is how this offense is often at its most efficient, and it doubles as a way of keeping Chubb and Hunt off the field.
The Ravens offensive line must seek and destroy defenders in this one, and the backs must “run behind their pads.” In a game of this magnitude, every inch counts. Well, in every single game, every inch counts, but it’s most visible in a game like this.