In the Ravens’ historic 2019 regular season, the Cleveland Browns were a formidable foe in both games played. The Ravens split games with the Browns last season with a loss coming at home and their win coming in Cleveland.
In the first matchup, the Ravens easily had one of their worst performances all season. They couldn't seem to get a grasp on stopping Nick Chubb and the Browns’ rushing attack, in addition to the chain-moving capabilities of Jarvis Landry. Baker Mayfield had a very sound performance as he threw for 342 yards and a touchdown. Landry caught eight balls for 167 yards, and Chubb gashed the Baltimore defense for 165 yards and three touchdowns.
It’s safe to say that the Ravens’ defensive performance in Week 4 was by far the worst out of all 16 games played.
The Lamar Jackson-led offense failed to match the scoring of Mayfield’s offense. A number of three-and-outs led to the Baltimore defense being on the field more than anticipated, which allowed for further damage to be done on the team’s defense from the ground and pound running game led by Chubb.
Jackson could never seem to lead the Ravens out of a constant deficit in this game as Cleveland had full control over the clock and the Ravens’ defense. Not to mention, the Browns defense did a wonderful job in stopping the high-scoring abilities of Greg Roman’s offense.
It’s safe to say that this game was a wake-up call for the Ravens. After losing in back-to-back games with the Kansas City Chiefs handing them a loss during the week prior, the Ravens went on an absolute hot streak, winning their next 12 games. Despite the difficult loss, rearrangements were made on the defense, in particular the promotion of Chuck Clark after the injury to previous starter Tony Jefferson, and both sides of the ball flourished from then on out.
In their second meeting versus the Browns, Baltimore was right in the middle of taking the entire league by storm as they entered this game on a 10-game winning streak. On the contrary, the Browns were once again amidst a forgotten season as the coaching of Freddie Kitchens, as well as inconsistent play on both sides of the ball, severely hindered the team’s ability to put together what was supposed to be a promising season.
Jackson put together a much better performance in his second time around against the Browns. Jackson had a wonderful passing performance as he threw three touchdowns, two of which went to Mark Andrews, who had one of his best performances all season in this game. Jackson also had a field day on the ground as he rushed for 103 yards on 17 carries. Outside of Jackson’s productivity on the ground, no particular running back really stood out for the Ravens. Mark Ingram carried the ball only eight times while Gus Edwards took the majority of the workload and ended up with 66 yards on 12 carries, a solid performance for him.
The Ravens’ defense absolutely shut down the Browns’ offense. The team’s run defense limited Chubb to 45 yards on 15 carries, a stark contrast to what occurred ten weeks prior. Mayfield was held to a mere 192 yards as the Baltimore secondary caused serious issues during Cleveland’s aim to get some traction and cut into their deficit. In the end, Ravens came out on top with a 31-15 win.
So, what can we expect for this Sunday’s game?
It really is tough to predict what will happen as the Ravens kick off their season on Sunday. Although the Ravens are eight-point favorites heading into the matchup, I could see this game coming down to one possession. With a reinvigorated Browns team, led by new HC Kevin Stefanski aiming to harness the ever-present talent within his team, I could see the Browns catching the Ravens, and frankly, the entire league by surprise this year. Though I, in addition to many others, expect the Ravens to come out of Week 1 with a victory, I can almost guarantee that it won't be a walk in the park.
Will the Ravens cover the -8 spread vs. the Browns?
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