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Ravens News 9/30: Disgusting defense, Week 4 refocused and more

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NFL: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Week 4 ReFocused: Cleveland Browns 40, Baltimore Ravens 25 - PFF


One of the biggest surprises of the game was the lack of production for rookie Marquise Brown, particularly given the absence of both Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams. Brown was targeted seven times, catching four passes for just 22 yards; one of the incompletions was a drop. His longest reception of the day went for only 10 yards.

Marlon Humphrey had a very up-and-down afternoon, as he generally limited Odell Beckham when matched against him, but he had struggles elsewhere. He took multiple penalties and appeared to bust coverage on a huge catch and run by Cleveland tight end Ricky Seals-Jones.

The Ravens’ inability to hold gaps or tackle the ball carrier was their undoing. On Chubb’s two big second-half touchdown runs, multiple Ravens both missed tackles and overpursued.

What we learned from Sunday’s Week 4 games - Michael Baca

The Browns defense held Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense in check. Cleveland might have put up 40 on the Ravens (2-2), but its defense was a crucial part of its success. Aside from a Willie Snead garbage-time touchdown, the Ravens offense couldn’t make big plays, struggled on third down and turned the ball over in critical moments. The Ravens filled the stat sheet with yards, but their offense was rhythm-less to the point where Jackson had to take matters into his own hands and scurry to make plays when his receiving corps was bottled up.

The Browns (2-2) also did it with a banged-up secondary as Denzel Ward, Greedy Williams and Morgan Burnett were held out of the game, but their replacements were superb. Damarious Randall blitzed from his corner position to sack Jackson on a big third-down play in the first quarter. Jermaine Whitehead had a beautiful interception in the fourth quarter, and deflected a pass during a corner blitz that allowed DT Devaroe Lawrence to get another late interception of Jackson. Cleveland’s defense also forced Mark Ingram to cough up his first turnover of the year. They were short-handed but the Browns had the upper hand with effective scheming from DC Steve Wilks against a dynamic Ravens offense.

Ravens Defense Reacts After Getting Ripped By Browns - Ryan Mink

The Ravens defense has now given up more than 500 yards in back-to-back weeks, raising questions about how much the loss from last year’s defense has taken a toll.

“It’s disgusting,” safety Tony Jefferson said. “Ya’ll look at the tape. It’s not good.”

“We’ll have a coming-to-heart meeting Monday or Tuesday,” Humphrey said. “We have to know what we’re doing wrong and what we’re doing right. Not a lot is being done right lately.”

“We’re just not reacting right to the different concepts that they’re giving us,” Thomas said. “The glaring thing is the seam throws. We understood that those are [Mayfield’s] best throws. We just didn’t react to the concept like we needed to.”

“Doesn’t shake my fundamental belief,” Thomas said. “But it’s frustrating as hell.”

Ravens lose AFC North lead along with their defensive pride - Jamison Hensley

Troubling trend: Ravens pass defense. Baltimore made it too easy for Baker Mayfield and the Browns’ passing attack. The Ravens let receivers run wide open down the middle of the field and couldn’t bring them down once they caught the ball. Baltimore has now allowed 300-yard passers in three straight games for the first time since September 2012. The Ravens gave up 349 yards to Kyler Murray, 374 yards to Patrick Mahomes and 342 yards to Mayfield. Other than cornerback Marlon Humphrey, everyone is to blame for these defensive debacles.