The Cleveland Browns will face a tough division rival Baltimore Ravens team Sunday and will be counting on these players to step up and be key to victory.
The Cleveland Browns will play on Sunday Night Football in Baltimore to face the Ravens and they will need to get the win if they want to stay in the playoff hunt. The team has had a difficult time beating the Ravens over the years.
They beat the Ravens in Baltimore in the second game of former Browns coach Freddie Kitchens lone season with the team in 2019. In that game, Nick Chubb went off for 165 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a 40-25 win.
Cleveland is going to need a similar performance from Chubb if they are going to have a chance at securing the win. There’s been a lot of chatter again this week about Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield and his injuries and if he should continue to go out there and compete.
Regardless, of what the local and national media outlets and the fans think would be the best plan, the Browns will be sending Mayfield out there. The Ravens will be out in full attack mode and certainly, backup quarterback Case Keenum should be ready to roll if Mayfield succumbs to the heat and further injury.
We’ll chat about these players in a bit and their importance to the outcome of the game. But first, let’s look at another member — or members — of the team that will be important to a Cleveland victory.
Cleveland Browns Key Player No. 3: The entire defense
What happens with this unit Sunday night will dictate the outcome of the game. If the communication amongst its players is good, the tackling is fundamentally strong, and they can create a few takeaways like they have the last few weeks, then they will be primed for a great game.
The front four on the line, including defensive lineman Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, and Malik McDowell will first need to contain the Ravens quarterback and not give time for their offense to get comfortable. It would be good as well if defensive coordinator Joe Woods would provide a bit more pressure on the quarterback via a blitz to keep the Ravens honest.
The last time these two teams played was on a Monday Night Football Game on an ice-cold night in Cleveland, where the game was more of a track meet in which neither defense was able to stop the other, and eventually, the Ravens won 47-42. If that type of game happens in this one, the chances for the Browns winning will be slim.
Baltimore has been a very lucky team this season, getting several wins in the final moments, at the benefit of some favorable calls by the referees. They’ve won at least four games this year where the game turned on a bad call against their opponents. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ravens get a few calls in this one to add pressure to the Browns defensive plate. The Browns will have to show more discipline in this game. They were targeted for over 80 yards in penalty yards last game.
If the Cleveland secondary can play as a unit and not give up too many big yardage chunk plays then the team will have a great chance at victory.