It’s a little perplexing why Don Martindale used so much zone coverage in this game. Baker Mayfield took advantage of it though. Zone coverage isn’t a bad thing, it just isn’t what this defense seems to do best. Switching things up is a necessity, so you can’t have Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters blanket receivers in man to man all day. I get that. Let’s just say the Browns showed why the Ravens need to lean on their man to man preference.
Mayfield tore the Ravens apart. He had 343 yards and two scores through the air. Tyus Bowser had a good interception that put the Ravens near the goal line. It could have been a pick-six, it was needed but when a defense gives up 42 points and 493 yards they’re not ending up in the good section of this post. It’s not happening. Nope. Forget about that right now.
The Ravens pass rush was nowhere to be found for much of this game. Yannick Ngakoue got some good pressure. Pernell McPhee got a good hit on Mayfield. Great. Cool. Wonderful. Guess what? The Ravens didn’t sack the Browns’ quarterback one time. With that kind of pass-rushing performance, Mayfield should have the stat line he acquired in this battle. Most decent quarterbacks would have.
The defense just couldn’t get off the field. The Browns ran 76 plays. They picked up 33 first downs in the game. Not to sound like the bad boss in the Christmas classic Elf, but “THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN!” That cannot happen against this defense. Baltimore has some soul searching on defense.
While I think the effort was there, the results were a disaster. The Ravens could have run away with this game with a more typical Baltimore football defensive effort. The Browns scored 42 points. It was an instant classic with high entertainment value. Though you know ugly was there in this game. Let’s dive into it.