The NFL is back, and week one is just around the corner. So with that, we are back with the Browns’ keys to victory. What will the Browns need to do to leave Baltimore with a win?
Muddy the Pocket
Lamar Jackson is a great player, but he is also still a young developing quarterback. The focus should be getting pressure without giving up the big run. Creating what a lot of coaches call ‘muddying the pocket.’ Closing lanes and surrounding the quarterback with the hopes of a sack or mistake made by the quarterback. Obviously, Jackson is one of the best running quarterbacks in history, so this is much harder than it sounds.
Forcing Jackson to be one dimensional is still the best chance a team has against last year’s MVP.
Slow the Run
Stopping the Baltimore ground attack is nearly impossible. If you can slow Ingram and company long enough to build a lead, that is a win. The Browns defense will need to make them work for every yard. If they start giving Baltimore chunk plays in the run game, it will be another long opening day loss for Cleveland’s fans.
The Ravens will try to impose their will as they did last season to the tune of the highest-scoring offense in the NFL.
The Baltimore Ravens have built the entire offense around the run game. With that being the case, they struggle to play from behind. Stefanski and the offense need to get points on the board early. If the Browns can come out and stun the Ravens with a 14 point or more lead, it will take them out of their comfort zone on offense and lead to that elusive opening day victory.
That is how the Browns took them down a season ago in Baltimore.
Pound the Rock
The run game will be the core of this team, and they need to establish it early. With the pandemic taking place, tackling may be a bit lacking, and pounding that defense could allow for the newly extended Kareem Hunt and/or Nick Chubb to break some big runs. Focusing on the ground game will allow a young tackle like Jedrick Wills and the offensive line to get comfortable. Establishing the run, the Browns keep Lamar Jackson off the field, controlling the game and grabbing the win.
The run game may be the most significant of the Browns’ keys to victory come Sunday.
Prediction: Ravens 31 – Browns 24
Cleveland will make it tough but the Ravens will come out ahead with an established group in place week one.
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