5. Slow the pass rush
The Cleveland Browns will need to slow down the talented defensive line in the passing game in order to keep quarterback Baker Mayfield comfortable in the pocket and able to deliver strikes down the field. Baltimore’s defensive line includes three Pro Bowlers in Matthew Judon, Calais Campbell, and Brandon Williams.
This will be a huge test early for the Browns’ rookie tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. who was the 10th pick in this year’s draft. Going against Judon and Campbell off the edge in his first professional game is going to be a challenge. His level of success in this contest can be a huge indication of how the game will go.
If Wills, and newly acquired Pro Bowl right tackle Jack Conklin, can hold of this pair of edge rushers, the Browns have a great chance to succeed in the pass game and ultimately compete in the game. They can stretch the field with playmakers such as receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and new Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper. If Mayfield is under duress, the sacks and also turnovers could pile up and be a disaster for the Browns. If given time though, the offense could explode.
Look for Wills Jr. and Conklin to be tested early and often, and if they succeed the Browns have a much higher chance to win the ball game.