Baker Mayfield: 4 Browns who must step up in absence
No. 1 – Denzel Ward
I’m not here to beat up the guy, but so far this season I haven’t been overly impressed with Denzel Ward, who was supposed to be the next lockdown corner in the NFL. At times Ward has been great, but he has already missed most of one game and has had a ton of penalties (I know the couple last Sunday weren’t the best calls, but they still happened).
With Mayfield out, that much more pressure goes on the defense. When you have a guy that can take one receiver out of the game on their own, that makes life for the rest of the defense and Joe Woods so much easier.
Cortland Sutton for the Broncos is a big target and can hit you for a big play at any time. Ward will likely draw him on most plays, and at times will get put in single coverage with no help over the top. Not only is it important for Ward to not give up a big play, I want to see a game from him with no penalties.
A big game from the defensive line will help Ward tremendously. When guys like Garrett and Clowney are getting to the passer, it really helps the corners. Not only are they covering for less time, but the throws can also be less accurate giving the defensive back a chance for an interception.
Ward is due for a big game, and I think he is finally fully healthy to do so for the Browns. I don’t know about an interception but expect him to play well and at least have a few deflections on Thursday night.