Hello everyone, and welcome to week two of the NFL season! This week, the Baltimore Ravens will host their division rival, the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are coming into this game after losing their first game, against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Baltimore is, of course, coming off a shutout victory against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Baltimore Ravens are entering this game as the heavy favorites to win the football game. However, it will likely be no cakewalk. The Browns put up a valiant effort against the Steelers last week, and are expected to give the Ravens some trouble as well. Here is our preview of the Browns at Ravens game, along with predictions for the game.
Key Matchups in Browns at Ravens
For the Ravens to be victorious against the Browns, they will need to win a few key matchups. The first of which is the Ravens secondary against Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer. Kizer is a rookie quarterback, who was selected in the second round of the NFL Draft this year. He played fairly well for a Browns rookie quarterback last week against the Steelers. Baltimore, however, won’t be as easy as Pittsburgh. The Ravens defense is shaping up to be one of the best units in the league this year, as evident by the shutout victory last week. Against Andy Dalton, the secondary came away with four interceptions, also shutting down AJ Green, a top receiver in the NFL. If the Ravens defensive secondary plays half as well against the Browns as they did against the Bengals, DeShone Kizer is going to be way in over his head. The Ravens secondary is going to make him feel uncomfortable, and of course, turn the ball over.
Another key matchup to watch for during this Ravens and Browns matchup is between the Ravens pass rush against the Browns offensive line. Last week, DeShone Kizer was sacked seven times by the Steelers pass rushers. This is evidence of an underlying problem for the Browns. Their offensive line is not very good, compared to others in the league. Besides left tackle Joe Thomas, who is arguably the best in the league, the Browns offensive line lacks real talent. Right guard Kevin Zeitler has been a good player in the past for the Bengals, but his performance in Cleveland is still yet to be known. Combine the lack of a strong offensive line with a stout Ravens pass rush, who brought down Andy Dalton five times last week, and it becomes a recipe for a sackfest. If the Ravens pass rush can pressure Kizer, they should be able to force him into some bad throws, and of course, bring him down aswell.
Predicting the Browns at Ravens Game
To be frank, nobody expects the Browns to win this game, not even Browns fans. However, it shouldn’t be a cakewalk for the Ravens either. The Browns are probably going to keep it somewhat close, but won’t end up winning this game. On the offensive side for the Ravens, they are coming in after a solid outing against the Bengals. Joe Flacco was held to 17 passes for 9 completions, not because he was rusty, but because the Ravens opted out of passing. Baltimore got out to a 20-0 lead by the third quarter, and decided to double down on the run game. The Ravens ran the ball with four different runners, but the two who ran the most were Terrance West and Buck Allen. Between the two rushers, the Ravens were able to amass 151 yards rushing, in 40 attempts. West also pounded the ball in for a touchdown. The Ravens will continue this trend of an outstanding rushing attack today. West and Allen will combine for over 120 yards rushing, and at least two touchdowns. As for Joe Flacco and the passing attack, he will move up to around 25 passing attempts, with between 15 to 18 completions. He will find his way to over 140 yards passing. Both wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace will find their way to the endzone for a touchdown. The Ravens offense will finish with a score of 28 points.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Ravens will hold the Browns to a minimal amount of points. DeShone Kizer will be sacked six times, and throw two interceptions. He will be sacked by Matthew Judon twice, Terrell Suggs once, Brent Urban once, C.J. Mosley once, and Michael Pierce once. Kizer will throw one interception to Jimmy Smith, and the other to Eric Weddle. Running back Isiah Crowell will also have a rough time against the Ravens defense. He will average around 2.5 yards per carry, and only gain around 45 yards total. Kizer will likely throw the ball 30 times, and complete around 20 of his passes. This will also likely yield the Browns offense 200 yards passing. Kizer will throw for two touchdowns, one pass to Corey Coleman, and the other to Kenny Britt. The Browns will also get into field goal range, for kicker Zane Gonzalez to hit one field goal. The Browns will finish with a score of 17 points.