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Bold Predictions: Ravens vs. Browns

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens head to Cleveland this week to face a young, up-and-coming Browns roster. Baltimore Beatdown contributors detail bold predictions for the contest.

Sage’s predictions:

  • Baker Mayfield and Joe Flacco will both throw interceptions.

Both quarterbacks have thrown two picks in 2018; however, it is worth noting Mayfield has played in two games to Flacco’s four starts. Still, both signal callers are matched up against ball hawking secondaries. Look for Cleveland’s Denzel Ward to cause a turnover or for Baltimore’s Brandon Carr to kill one of Mayfield’s drives.

  • The Ravens will deliver an improved rushing performance.

Baltimore’s stagnant run game has been a blemish on the first quarter of the season. In Week 5, they will encounter their worst run defense to-date, as the Browns rank 23rd in the NFL. While they have yet to eclipse 100 rushing yards since their Week 1 blowout of the Bills, Cleveland allowed Marshawn Lynch to rush for 139 yards (a 6.5 yard average) in their Week 4 loss.

Vasilis’ predictions:

  • Joe Flacco will throw for more than 350 yards.

Last year in Cleveland, Flacco’s 288 passing yards was his highest total of the season. Baltimore’s runners are unlikely to find success behind their blockers against the Browns stout front, so #5 will once again be asked to carry the load. With the assistance of Marty Mornhinweg and Willie Snead, he will be up to the challenge.

  • Kenny Young will lead the Ravens in tackles.

Young received only 24 snaps last week against Pittsburgh’s pass first offense. He will play nearly every defensive snap this week, as Cleveland leads the NFL in rushing attempts this season. The Browns elite interior offensive linemen trio will focus on blocking Brandon Williams, Michael Pierce and C.J. Mosley, allowing Young to roam free and rack up the tackles.

Dustin’s predictions:

  • Baker Mayfield will commit three turnovers.

After committing four turnovers in a 45-42 loss to the Oakland Raiders, things will not be any easier against Baltimore for the rookie quarterback in his second start. Mayfield has yet to face a top defense like the Ravens, which is ranked second in total defense, fourth in passing and fourth in rushing yards per game. Baltimore’s elite secondary will get the better of Mayfield and force him into several turnovers, and Terrell Suggs will get his signature strip sack.

  • Myles Garrett will be a non-factor.

The Ravens did an excellent job of game-planning for and containing elite pass rusher Von Miller in Week 3 against the Denver Broncos. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will put together another nice game plan, rendering Garrett useless with chip blocks and double teams. Just like Miller, Garrett will not record a single sack.