The Ravens hope to continue their winning ways this season and over the Cleveland Browns in general as they head to FirstEnergy stadium for a Saturday matchup.
Baltimore Ravens: 9-4
Odds (Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
Moneyline: Browns -140, Ravens +120
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Last 5 Games In Regular Season Series
Ravens lead series 35-12
Injury Report & Game Status
The most pressing matter for Saturday’s affair lies in the different quarterback situations. The Browns will have quarterback Deshaun Watson as their starting quarterback after not having him on the field for the first 11 games due to his suspension for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy per the terms of a settlement reached between the league and the NFL Players Association. The suspension was due to sexual misconduct where Watson had 24 women file civil lawsuits against him alleging he committed sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions.
Meanwhile, the Ravens will be starting backup quarterback Tyler Huntley after he cleared concussion protocol earlier this week. The Ravens won’t have Lamar Jackson due to a knee injury he suffered against the Denver Broncos. Huntley participated in all practices this week as a part of the Return to Participation Protocol following a concussion, so he was a part of the gameplan from the beginning of the short week.
The rushing attack for both teams will be critical for their respective winning odds. For the Browns, it starts with running back Nick Chubb, who has surpassed 1,000 rushing yards (1,153) for the fourth time in his career. Chubb’s been the leader of the Browns’ offense with a resolute 5.0 yards per carry and 12 touchdowns on the season.
The Ravens enter this game coming off a 215-yard rushing affair against the Pittsburgh Steelers, spear-headed by their running back tandem J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. Dobbins, who was activated off injured reserve the day prior, rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Though he didn’t look 100-percent, and admitted after the game he isn’t where he wants to be just yet, he still demonstrated how explosive, dynamic and valuable he is when on the field and paired with the Ravens’ top-notch offensive line. On the final drive, with the Steelers knowing the Ravens were going to run the rock, Edwards was called on to close the game out on three carries. This allowed third-string quarterback Anthony Brown to kneel it out for the hard-earned win.
Defending Bully Ball
The Browns’ greatest weakness this season has been teams running the football against their defense. They’re ranked No. 30 against the run game by DVOA and have allowed 128 rushing yards per game. Not ideal when the Ravens enter this game averaging 157 rushing yards per game, and with left tackle Ronnie Stanley on the field, they average 182 rushing yards per game.
On the other end, the Ravens run defense has been among the best, ranked No. 8 by DVOA per Football Outsiders. On the season, they’ve allowed 1,055 yards in 13 games (81.1 YPG). Its been especially dominant since they acquired inside linebacker Roquan Smith before the trade deadline, where they’ve allowed 275 yards in five games (55 YPG).