Cleveland Browns: Keys to a Week 2 victory in Baltimore
Against Pittsburgh, the Browns clearly emphasized shutting down star receiver Antonio Brown. They’d be insane not to. When watching the game, it appeared that they kept the 29-year-old fairly well in check. But based on the stats, it looked like Brown carved up Cleveland’s secondary once again.
Unfortunately, two of Brown’s 11 receptions which accounted for 182 yards were somewhat flukes. One pass thrown by Ben Roethlisberger was tipped by a defender before being caught by Brown and flipping field position. Then, late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line, Brown caught a deep ball on a second and 12 which allowed Pittsburgh to run out the clock. Though the catch was controversial and needed to be reviewed, it was confirmed as the game clinching reception.
The reality is, chunk plays are inevitable. The Browns just have to limit Baltimore’s opportunities to throw the ball deep down the field and take away bursts from their rushing attack. If they do this, the Browns will be able to dial up more pressure on Joe Flacco and force earlier throws, ideally preventing the types of chunk plays which hurt Cleveland in week 1.