After a shutout last Sunday, the Ravens defense looks to continue their success against the rookie quarterback, DeShone Kizer, and the entire Cleveland Browns offense. I’m willing to bet every defensive player in the Baltimore locker room wants to keep the shutout clock running. Though that clock may stop, there are important defensive keys to still win this game, and start 2-0 on the season.
Don’t underestimate your opponent
It’s a rookie Browns quarterback, of course the Ravens are winning this!
No, that’s not how this works. It’s any given Sunday for a reason, and the Browns look better than the past few years prior. Head Coach Hue Jackson has this team turning around, their defense is considerably better than last year and that’s without their first overall pick from the 2017 NFL Draft, Myles Garrett. Though their defense held the Steelers in check, their offense produced points to keep the game close in Week 1. Now, they’re confident in DeShone Kizer, and their offensive line is capable of keeping the Ravens pass rush from winning this game. The last thing you want this team to do is overlook the opposition and get caught in a big deficit in the first quarter. Stay focused, and keep your eyes on stuffing the run, combating the passing attack and protecting this house.
Be ready to grind
This offensive line contains Joe Thomas, Joel Bitonio and former Bengal, Kevin Zeitler. This isn’t Week 1 against a bad line, this is one of the best in the NFL. While Terrell Suggs has won matchups against the future Hall of Fame Thomas, don’t count on him to win this game for the Ravens. The defensive line, Michael Pierce, Brandon Williams and Brent Urban, will be heavily relied upon to stop the run from gaining yards. They’ll also need to break through and pressure Kizer. A rookie is prone to making mistakes under heavy pressure, and hopefully the Ravens defense can pressure Kizer enough to make critical mistakes.
Dean Pees creativity
Last week, Pees pitched a shutout with his defense. Yes, the players made plays, but Pees called a fantastic game. Against the young gun, cause confusion once more. With the safety tandem of Eric Weddle & Tony Jefferson, Dean can work them both in hybrid fronts, as they both are capable of blitzing, run-stopping and pass coverage. Utilizing both in all areas makes a quarterback second guess. That edge may be enough to create a turnover, which may be the difference in a defensive battle I’m expecting for this contest.