Matchup No. 2: The Browns screen game vs Budda Baker
The Cardinals may have Budda Baker listed as a safety on their depth chart, but that's just because they didn't have a slot for defensive playmaker. Baker, a two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler is whatever Arizona needs him to be. That could mean anything from single high post safety, to overhang linebacker, slot defender, or tight end eraser.
But against the Browns, Arizona is going to need Baker to sell out and put a stop to Cleveland’s screen game. Baker has a plethora of skills, but one of his most elite skills is the ability to maneuver through heavy traffic on the field to stop ball carriers. His ability to evade would-be blockers while maintaining his angle in pursuit is truly something to behold.
And Baker should see plenty of opportunities to put those skills to use against Cleveland. The Browns are starting to find their groove in the screen game, and it is becoming a weekly staple in Kevin Stefanski’s game plan.
Cleveland’s screen game is predicated on its variety. The Browns have a myriad of screen plays they can attack a defense with. From traditional bubble and smoke screens to double fake screens into tight-end leak screens, everything is on the table for Stefanski right now.
Stefanski doesn't need a reason to break out the arsenal of screens he has at his disposal, whether it's to slow down an aggressive pass rush or just to manufacture cheap easy yards, they’re getting dialed up.
Their screen game is also a tool the Browns have been heavily relying on due to the subpar quarterback play they've had this season. If the Browns allow Budda Baker to blow up their screen game, the offense could find itself stuck in first gear on Sunday.