3. Win the turnover battle
Another department the Browns struggled with last season was turnovers. The Browns ranked seventh-worst in the league with 28 turnovers. 21 of those of course came as interceptions from Baker Mayfield. On defense, Cleveland was bottom half as well as they tied for 12th worst in takeaways with 20. Cleveland’s defense, playmakers, and Mayfield have to be better this year in order to break the 17-year playoff drought. It will be no different in their week one matchup.
Against a team like Baltimore, teams cannot afford to lose the turnover battle. They are too talented offensively and run the ball too effectively to win games when teams continue to give them the ball. If the Browns can get ahead in the turnover battle and game and force them to pass the ball consistently, it will give Cleveland a massive advantage.
Mayfield has to be patient and accurate in his passes Sunday, and the defense has to come up with some big plays. Mayfield must learn to throw the ball away rather than try to squeeze it into tight windows which he did far too often in his sophomore season.
The Browns defensively, however, can get pressure up front and force Lamar Jackson to make throws he does not want to and come away with some interceptions to give the offense the ball back. If they can do that, look for the Browns to come out on top.