Cleveland Browns: Keys to a Week 2 victory in Baltimore
What better key is there for a matchup expected to turn into a low scoring fourth quarter game? OK, maybe not everybody is anticipating this one being decided in the fourth quarter, but with the way Cleveland’s front seven has started 2017, it’s hard to believe the defense won’t keep the team relatively competitive in this one.
Whether it will come down to a two-minute drive or a field goal attempt, starting field position is everything. It wasn’t so much a problem for the Browns last week, but last season it was. Sometimes, taking a knee in the end zone on a kickoff works wonders. And sometimes, angling a punt away from a dangerous returner can allow a bullet to be dodged.
Field position includes various areas of the game which often fly under the radar and rarely appear on the highlight reel. Whenever possession changes, field position is up for grabs. Every kickoff, punt, and return which follows shapes the game by determining where an offense starts a possession. Starting field position then alters play calling which can create a domino effect.
Besides these plays however, field position is also up for grabs on possessions bound for punts. In a game like this, it’s acceptable to punt. Scoring every possession is an unrealistic objective for either of these teams. Moving the ball and getting a first down or two to flip the field can make the difference in this game, as can special teams play.
Next: DPD Podcast: Previewing Week 2
The Browns come in as severe underdogs, but their impressive showing defensively last week provides some hope that this game will be competitive. In fact, if Kizer can take another step in the right direction and the defense is equally as productive as they were in the opener, the Browns should return home from Baltimore with an upset victory under their belt.