Baltimore Ravens: Three Things to Watch vs Cleveland Browns
Here are three things to watch as the 3-1 Baltimore Ravens take on the 1-2-1 Cleveland Browns at First Energy Stadium on Sunday for Week 5 in an AFC North matchup.
The Baltimore Ravens are looking healthy and stronger as rookie tight end Hayden Hurst (foot injury) and cornerback Jimmy Smith (suspended 4 games) are looking to make their debuts in 2018. The Cleveland Browns are coming off a shootout last week against the Oakland Raiders as they lost in overtime as Mayfield’s pick-six to Gareon Conley came back to bite them (despite some terrible calls by refs). The Ravens know not to underestimate the Browns as they are continuing their 2 game win streak after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in primetime and looking good doing so as they are currently 2nd in the AFC North (Cincinnati Bengals are 3-1 and own tiebreaker). Here are three things to watch in this AFC North divisional matchup.
Can the Ravens wide receivers exploit the injury to Terrance Mitchell in the Browns cornerback group led by rookie Denzel Ward?
Due to Terrance Mitchell’s season-ending injury, the Browns cornerback position that could be weaker heading into Week 5 against a Ravens passing offense that is vastly improved from 2017. Briean Boddy-Calhoun, who was a cornerback for them last year and convert to safety this year, will probably get slot cornerback looks with E.J. Gaines helping out Ward and Travis Carrie on the outside. Ward ties with safety Damarious Randall in most interceptions for the Browns with 2 while Gaines and Carrie both have 1 each. John Brown will likely continue his surge as the top deep threat for the Ravens (leads team with 338 yards and 3 touchdowns) while Willie Snead (ties with Michael Crabtree for most catches with 18 and has one drop on 19 targets) could capitalize in the slot with Mitchell out.
Desmond Harrison vs. Terrell Suggs
The rookie offensive tackle Desmond Harrison has a tall task in front of him as he will face the veteran pass rusher, Terrell Suggs, this week. Suggs has 2.5 sacks this season and leads the Ravens in sacks so far this year. Other than Week 1, where Harrison gave up 3 sacks to T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers, he has improved each week and has only given up 1 sack to Jordan Jenkins of the New York Jets in Week 3 since. This matchup will be key in protecting Baker Mayfield as the Ravens defense has been one of the league’s best this year.
Can the Ravens offensive line neutralize Myles Garrett?
The Ravens offensive line will have another big test this week as they will face Myles Garrett and will need to use the blueprint these used in Week 3 against Von Miller and the Denver Broncos. They limited Miller to no sacks the whole game and will have to focus on Garrett by using double teams on him to help out Ronnie Stanley. Stanley has played better recently but the Ravens offensive playcalling should still run plays away from Garrett’s side. Garrett has 4.5 sacks so far, which leads the Browns in sacks, and is 5th on the NFL sack list for this year. His impact on the run game has been better than previous years and I do not think the Ravens run game will improve in this game unless they attack the right side away from Garrett.
How do you feel the Baltimore Ravens will do against the Cleveland Browns? Leave a comment below.
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