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Ravens: 3 storylines to watch for versus the Browns

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

What should you be watching for from the perspective of the Baltimore Ravens as the team gets ready to face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday?

What will the Ravens passing game look like?

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco did not fail to go to the deep ball in Week 1, notably hitting Mike Wallace in stride down the field for a 66-yard touchdown. Flacco did that facing a Buffalo Bills secondary with two of the best corners in the NFL in Ronald Darby and Stephen Gillmore. Now, facing a porous Browns secondary, will Flacco be able to do the same? Joe Haden is the only player in the Browns secondary who will worry Flacco. But Haden will probably be on Steve Smith Sr. for a lot of the game.

As a result, Mike Wallace, Breshad Perriman, and even Chris Moore may find themselves running wide open behind the Browns secondary in this game, and Flacco could have a field day finding these speedsters for long scores.

Is the Ravens defense for real?

The Ravens defense was better than stellar last week, holding the Bills to just seven points. Could the Ravens do that again against Cleveland? I don’t see why not. The Ravens defensive front is the strongest part of this team, and the unit is going up against a below average offensive line in this game. The Browns do still have Joe Thomas and Cameron Erving, but the losses of Mitchell Schwartz and Alex Mack hurt. The pass rush should be able to take advantage.

Putting pressure on quarterback Josh McCown will be huge for the Ravens defense, as it gives McCown’s dangerous receivers less time to get open and as a result, could lead to McCown making mistakes trying to force a pass. The Ravens might allow more than seven points, but expect another dominant performance.

How will the carries be split between Justin Forsett and Terrance West?

West had only two more carries than Forsett last week, but Forsett accumulated nine more yards. Look for the almost even split of carries to continue. But if one back proves to have the hot hand, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh may move away from a split, and lean on that back.

Running back Buck Allen had one of his best games against Cleveland last year, and the Ravens may try to mix him in as well. The running back committee is still in full swing in Baltimore, but this game against Cleveland may provide clarity to the situation.