The Cleveland Browns passing offense has not been as explosive as expected, but they have a chance to get on track against the Ravens.
The Cleveland Browns passing attack has struggled to gather much momentum in the first three games of the 2019, and it has created issues for the entire offense. Despite strong contributions from Nick Chubb on the ground, the passing offense has caused drives to stall.
With Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry at wide receiver, the passing offense should not be struggling as much as they currently are. Although they are missing Rashard Higgins, Antonio Callaway and David Njoku, the offense should still be performing at a higher level.
The Browns have the 18th-best passing offense in the NFL, averaging 241.3 passing yards per game. They also have the third most interceptions in the NFL and tied for the fourth fewest passing touchdowns.
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Cleveland has faced two of the best defenses in the NFL, as both the Rams and Titans are in the top-10 for fewest total yards allowed and fewest passing yards allowed. That has obviously played a role in the struggles. But they will be playing against a Ravens defense who has not played at the level that a typical Baltimore defense performs at.
The Baltimore defense is middle of the road in how many total yards they allow per game, allowing 350.7 yards per game. Baltimore has only allowed 60.3 rushing yards per game, the second-best in the league. However, their focus at stopping the run has left them vulnerable to be attacked through the air.
The Ravens have allowed the sixth-most passing yards per game, giving up 290.3 passing yards per game. They have done well at limiting throws into the endzone, giving up only four passing touchdowns this season. But it is apparent they can be picked apart through the air, and that may be the only way to do so because of their run defense.
Baltimore has been without one their starting cornerbacks, Jimmy Smith, who suffered a knee sprain in the season opener. The Ravens do not have the best depth at cornerback, and it has created some openings for opposing passing attacks. But they have not been tested deep because of the presence of Earl Thomas in the middle of the field.
The Browns passing offense showed signs of progress last week against the Rams when they were getting the ball out of Baker Mayfield‘s hands quickly. But they were unable to do consistently throughout the entire game and struggled when Mayfield held onto the ball.
Now that Cleveland’s offensive staff knows what is working for Mayfield and the offense, they should implement more of those concepts into this week’s gameplan. And with how the Ravens passing defense has struggled, it could help the Browns start to have the explosive plays that were expected to be a common part of their offense.
Sunday’s game against the Ravens is an important game for the Browns. A win puts them at the top of the division with the Ravens and will help ease some of the concerns as they head into the middle of the season. If Cleveland can utilize Baltimore’s weakness against the pass, it will help alleviate some of the pressure on the entire offensive unit.