If the 31st-ranked Cleveland run defense can hold its own against the likes of Terrance West and Javorius Allen, the Ravens will be in numerous third-and-medium to third-and-long situations throughout Thursday’s primetime contest.
This seems quite possible, and opens up opportunities for defensive coordinator Ray Horton to bring more pressure than he is accustomed to bringing. Not only does this surface an opportunity, it seems like a must.
Cleveland has been struggling to rush the quarterback with any less than six pass rushers. Their defensive line is stagnant, and a solid Baltimore offensive line should be able to have their way with them. The secondary of the Browns also serves as a weak link, no matter how many players they drop into coverage.
In addition to all this, Baltimore’s quarterback, Joe Flacco, is a true pocket passer. Cleveland won’t have to worry much about keeping containment, at least any more than they ever will. The only way for Cleveland to disrupt Flacco’s rhythm, which he can easily get into early in the game against a weak secondary, is to bring intense pressure. If this is the case, fans should look for rookies Carl Nassib and Emmanuel Ogbah, as well as Jamie Meder, to be in on all of the action.
They may give up a 25-yard screen pass or two, but they must persist. Bringing relentless pressure is a risk, but it seems to serve as the best chance for the Browns to flip the script on a Ravens offense poised for an outburst.