Prediction No. 5
Writer: Dan Gilinsky
Cleveland Browns football is back. Ya gotta love it…
So what’s the take for Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens? One should expect the Browns to stumble out of the gate, honestly. With the Browns having two new starting tackles, in particular, Cleveland could very well have issues against the blitz-happy Ravens.
For context, Baltimore led the league in blitz percentage last season, and in the first half, Cleveland and Baker Mayfield having problems through the air seems reasonable. While Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt should have success on the ground, Baltimore and last year’s MVP in Lamar Jackson feasibly jumping out to an early lead could make it tougher for Mayfield. Jackson has been a bit nicked in camp, but seems definitely ready to roll now.
Blocking newcomer Calais Campbell, especially if JC Tretter can’t go, is going to be a problem, too, and Campbell could fit right in with Baltimore, with him being seemingly an impact veteran. Plus, with the lack of preseason action, and though the Browns will eventually get going, that will happen too late passing-wise against one of the league’s best groups of corners.
And that Ravens ground attack, which led the league by a mile in 2019, will probably wear Cleveland down over the course of four quarters. The Browns being so banged-up defensively likely won’t help their efforts against the run, either, and that seems in for a tough day.
The Browns could probably string some drives together later on in the game as Kevin Stefanski feels things out, but the Ravens Week 1, who had 14 wins last season, are too much. Baltimore handles business at home.
Albeit Cleveland will rebound just fine against the Cincinnati Bengals at home in Week 2.
Score Prediction: Baltimore 33, Cleveland 23