Game Overview ::
By mike johnson >>
- Both teams are looking to bounce back from disappointing performances in Week 6.
- This is a key AFC North matchup for a division that is still wide open, with all four teams currently within one game of each other.
- Cleveland’s defense is clearly the worst unit in this game, which should play a big factor in determining the outcome and game flow.
- A tough recent stretch for the Ravens offense should be cured in this soft matchup at home.
How Cleveland Will Try To Win ::
The Browns blew some great chances early in this season to win games, and unfortunately for them, the NFL is an unforgiving league that will not feel sorry for you. They very easily could have been 5-0 through five weeks rather than 2-3, but they blew games and now face a very difficult stretch of five games against the Ravens, Bengals, Dolphins, Bills, and Bucs before Deshaun Watson returns from suspension. Last week’s demolition at the hands of the Patriots had to be disheartening for Browns fans and those within the organization, with the blown chances in the past and the now difficult task on the road ahead.
The Browns offense has been pretty much what we’ve expected, boasting the 5th most run-heavy play calling in the NFL. Their tempo has been right around the league average and their passing offense has actually performed pretty well over the course of the season from an efficiency standpoint, with a lack of volume being the biggest issue. The Browns will undoubtedly lean heavily on their running game and the 1-2 punch of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to try to control the game and move the ball. The issue they will have with that approach is that the Ravens will almost certainly be selling out to stop the run and daring the Browns to pass. Also, the Browns are likely to be without All-Pro guard Wyatt Teller for this game, a significant blow to their offensive line and running game. Not only is Teller very good at what he does, but his ability to do a variety of things and get to the second level in their blocking scheme opens up a lot of the chunk plays we often see from the Browns on the ground.
The Browns may need to take some early shots downfield to try to open things up against the Ravens, especially with their own issues on the line possibly sapping them of some of their usual efficiency. In general, however, the Browns approach in this game is always going to come back to their running game and concepts off of that: play action, counters, and screens which allow Jacoby Brissett to make plays without having to actually “make the plays.”