Week 3 opponent – Baltimore Ravens
Ughh, this wasn’t how the season was supposed to start. The Browns were supposed to win their first two match-ups before heading into this two-month murderous stretch. Well as we all know, things rarely go according to plan, especially when it pertains to the Browns. I suppose though there is still a silver-lining to this week, at least we aren’t the Jets and don’t have to put up with former WR Braylon Edwards‘ antics… Anyways let’s move onto the game this week.
The Browns will head to Baltimore this weekend to take on the old Browns Ravens. On the young season Baltimore has only given up 24 points on defense, 3rd fewest of any AFC team and 5th fewest in the entire NFL. Okay so we have established that the Ravens defense is still pretty good by all accounts, and they are led by LBs Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs and NT Haloti Ngata. The secondary is a relatively young group which could be exposed, if the Browns can avoid the pressure up front that is – the Browns will be lucky enough to avoid ball-hawk S Ed Reed as he is on the team’s PUP list to start the season.
On offense the Ravens made whole sale changes to their recieving corps this off-season – adding former Cardinal WR Anquan Boldin, former Bengal/Seahawk TJ Houshmandzadeh, and WR Donte Stallworth (who is back in the NFL after serving his year long suspension). The two later have yet to do much this season, but certainly add depth to the receiving game like never before seen with the Ravens. Last year’s sensation RB Ray Rice, proves to be a dual threat in both the running and receiving games. However all that being said, 3rd year QB Joe Flacco has struggled on the season, having already thrown 5 interceptions.
So it seems pretty simple as to what the Browns need to do, in order to leave Baltimore with one in the victory column. First of all the Browns will need to limit the turnovers, if there is one thing that will kill a team it’s the turnovers. As I said last week I still think that the team needs to get more from RBs Peyton Hillis and Jerome Harrison, that means get them the ball more!! The Browns should also be able to effectively implement the passing game this week too, which will be a welcomed change; as a result of this hopefully RB/WR/PR/KR/Flash QB Josh Cribbs can also get more involvement in the offense and provide a spark. But most importantly the Browns O-line will need to protect Seneca Wallace, and give him time to find his receivers, and similarly provide running opportunities for the running backs.
Up Next – Cincinnati Bengals