The Baltimore Ravens had a dominant 34-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday night. They will now play an important game against the Cleveland Browns on Monday. The Browns are second in the AFC North with a 9-3 record, while the Ravens are two games behind at 7-5. Here are five players to watch:
The Browns defense is more susceptible to the pass than the run. This season, the Browns have allowed 25 passing touchdowns (fourth-most in the NFL) and 3,083 passing yards (tenth-most in the NFL). Last week, Ryan Tannehill threw for 389 yards and three touchdowns against them. On the other hand, the Browns are allowing the seventh-fewest rushing yards per game in the NFL.
The Ravens are a run-first football team, and they should not stray away from that. Nevertheless, Jackson will have to have a great game through the air for the Ravens to come up with a victory In their Week 1 matchup, Jackson had 273 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, and a QB rating of 152.1; those statistics are all still season-high marks for him. He will need to repeat that performance on Monday.
Brown is back! Brown took a pass from Trace McSorley to the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown reception against the Steelers, and last week, he had a 20-yard touchdown reception against the Cowboys.
It marks the first time in Brown’s young career that he has posted a receiving touchdown in back-to-back games. Brown had a season-high 101 receiving yards against the Browns earlier this season. Additionally, cornerback Denzel Ward has missed the past two games for the Browns, and he missed practice on Thursday. Brown could have his biggest game of the season on Monday.
With Dez Bryant sidelined, Boykin played his best game of the season, thus far, against the Cowboys. He had this 38-yard touchdown reception:
He nearly had another touchdown too. He was wide open in the end zone, but the pass was deflected by Jaylon Smith.
Boykin went three straight games without a reception, so it was nice to see him making plays again. Let’s see if he can keep it going in Cleveland.
The Browns are averaging 157.8 rushing yards per game, which is second in the NFL. Luckily, Williams is back in the lineup for the Ravens. It is hard to measure his impact as a run defender, but let’s look at some quick statistics. Williams has missed three games this season, and he only played five defensive snaps in their Week 10 game against the Patriots due to an ankle injury. Let’s look at the Ravens’ rushing yards allowed in each of those four games.
Week 6 at Eagles: 194 rushing yards
Week 10 at Patriots: 173 rushing yards
Week 11 vs. Titans: 173 rushing yards
Week 12 at Steelers: 68 rushing yards
With the exception of the Steelers’ game, those numbers are startling. With Williams on the field, the Ravens have not allowed a single team to rush for 150 yards or more this season. If Williams and the Ravens defense can slow down Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, the Ravens would have a great chance to win.
Queen’s performance has been erratic. He is tied for the league-lead in missed tackles, but he has been able to occasionally produce a big play. He has two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two sacks, an interception, and a touchdown. Last week, he put together one of his most consistent showings this season. He will face a tough test against Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and Austin Hooper. We knew Queen would be raw coming out of college, but he has a chance to make a statement in an important game this week.