Key to victory No. 2: Take away the middle of the field
Lamar Jackson is one of one. Because of Jackson’s very specific skillset, it changes the rules of engagement for opposing defenses. Obviously, his ability to affect the game with his legs gets most of the headlines.
But it’s Jackson’s ability to threaten with his legs that open up the middle of the field for big plays in the passing game. The middle of the field is also where Jackson’s favorite target, Mark Andrews, makes his bones. Jackson and Andrew’s connection is special and if you let them get going it can become one-way traffic quickly.
For Schwartz and this Browns defense, funneling the Ravens passing attack to the outside has to be a priority. It will take a group effort from the linebackers and safeties to take away the middle of the field from Jackson.
Expect to see a ton of three-safety looks from Schwartz and the Browns on Sunday with Juan Thornhill as the post and Rodney McLeod as the strong safety. That will free up Grant Delpit to either spy Jackson or shadow Andrews. By mixing up Delpit’s responsibilities Cleveland can use their other weaponized player, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah to fill in the gaps as necessary.
It's going to be all hands on deck for the Browns defense to limit Jackson’s effectiveness on Sunday. But given what Schwartz’ defense has displayed so far, there is no reason to think that they aren’t up for the task.