Cleveland Browns: Top 5 opposing running backs in 2016
This season’s matchups with the Baltimore Ravens may be the two most special games for the Browns. Week 2 is Cleveland’s home opener, and their week 10 meeting serves as the Browns’ lone prime time game, playing in front of a national audience on Thursday Night Football.
Helping to perpetuate the match-ups is the fact that these two franchises are involved in one of the fiercest rivalries in the AFC North. The Ravens are not unbeatable, however, as the Browns proved last year. One of Cleveland’s three wins, and their only road win, came in Baltimore. The Ravens are likely the Browns best shot at a division victory this season as well.
Still, in order for this Browns team to beat any talented offense, they must first win in the trenches and shut down the opposition’s rushing attack. With a running back the caliber of Justin Forsett, the Browns will have their hands full in the two critical matchups this season.
Forsett spent seasons in Indianapolis, Seattle, Houston, and Jacksonville before finding a home in Baltimore. It appears that Forsett is in Baltimore to stay, as his first season as a Raven was his breakout year, rushing for a career high 1,266 yards. Last season, Forsett was sidelined for six games, but still managed to rush for 641 yards on the season, including 121 yards and a 5.6 yards per carry in his lone game against the Browns.
Forsett is a productive, reliable back who acts professionally and gives a team what they need at the running back position. The Browns may have difficulty bringing down the tough runner, but can slow him down if they limit his explosive runs. The secondary will need to tackle well against Baltimore, as Forsett can get into the second level and easily turn a 10-yard run into a 40-yard, game-changing carry.
Due to this ability, the Browns will need to be on the top of their game defensively against Baltimore, as Forsett will be one of the tougher running backs Cleveland will face in 2016.
Next: Matt Forte, New York Jets