Browns Vs. Ravens: 5 Reasons For Optimism

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Strength Against Strength

As we shared earlier this week, and Pettine talked about during yesterday’s press conference, the Browns want to encourage other teams to run. This allows the Browns to dictate to the other team what the best play for them to go with is. That keeps the clock moving, minimizes big plays and plays to the Browns strengths. The Browns strength is in their depth and their pass defense. While they have given up almost 300 yards on average in the first 2 games, the opponents played a big role in that, the Browns are solid in pass defense.

With Joe Haden, Buster Skrine, Donte Whitner, Tashaun Gipson, Karlos Dansby and Christian Kirksey the Browns are able to fly all over the field and make plays. With their defensive line 6 deep with starters and 3 starter level OLBs the Browns can get after the quarterback. When the other team does pass the Browns are in position to make huge game changing plays, sacks, interceptions and the like.

Against the Ravens offense that means the Ravens either have to rely on their weakness, the run game, or stubbornly pass the ball against a great pass defense. That puts the Ravens in a difficult position. Do they let the Browns dictate their play calling? Does Flacco make adjustments at the line to go to more run plays given the look the Browns are giving them? It calls for tough decisions and puts the Browns in a position to excel on the defensive side of the ball.

The Ravens offense isn’t elite at any level though which means the Browns defense, their strength, goes against the Ravens overall team weakness. The Browns showed last week against the Saints they are not afraid to test their defense, even lining up Joe Haden against Jimmy Graham time after time.