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Brown’s new HC Kevin Stefanski looks brilliant, so expect him to game plan some revenge over these slightly struggling Ravens, especially if you give his team some points along the way.
Browns +2.5 (-110)
|Ravens vs Browns Information|
|What||Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns|
|Where||FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH|
|When||Monday, December 14, 2020; 8:15 PM ET|
|How to watch||ESPN|
After a COVID-19 scare, Baltimore starting quarterback Lamar Jackson is now back under center, but for some reason, these 7-5 Ravens do not look as dominant as they did in Week 1 when they took care of the Browns by over thirty points, and the team still continues to struggle due to some injuries to key playmakers.
By the end of the first half in Week 13, Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield’s Browns had already taken care of the favored Titans, final score 41-35, and for the first time since 1994, the Cleveland Browns are 9-3 and look playoff-worthy and ready to seek revenge on these flittering rival Ravens.
The two AFC North franchises have met up with each other 43 prior times, with the Cleveland Browns winning 11 of those games and the Baltimore Ravens winning 32 of the games.
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The Ravens have dropped four of their last six games, causing many to doubt that they have what it takes to get the job done in the postseason, though their Week 13 drubbing of the Dallas Cowboys, 34-17, certainly makes it seem like Baltimore’s on the mend.
They were hit hard with injuries to key players plus a COVID-19 outbreak forced them to rely on many of their backups to start, including backup QB Robert Griffin III, who as a result injured his thigh and is now listed as being on Injured Reserve.
The Ravens’ defense is ranked 8th right now, still solid after only allowing opponents to score less than 20 points per game, but CB Jimmy Smith (groin) and CB Tramon Williams (thigh) are both listed as questionable, among others, so it could be the next man up the situation in Week 14 on defense, not good against this Browns offense.
The key to beating the Ravens is by slowing down their star quarterback, Lamar Jackson, a feat that is far easier said than done (he threw for 3 TDs in Week 1), especially now that he is back healthy and has had a week to regain his comfortability.
It will be the job of the Browns defensive line, including DE Olivier Vernon and one of the best ends in football, Myles Garrett, who together have 15.5 sacks on opposing quarterbacks (with Garrett responsible for over two-thirds of those.
Stopping Jackson means keeping him in the pocket which requires Cleveland to seal up both ends of the front line, and they have the personnel to get that done if they can all show up healthy and ready to grind.
Due to COVID-19, Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson had to sit out in Week 12, and you could tell by watching the team that he was sorely missed, and that is despite having a similar type backup to replace him in Robert Griffin, whose speed and quickness make him a hard hurler to take down.
Jackson is back, and he impressively led the team to a win over the Cowboys in Week 13, a game where he completed almost 71 percent of his passes for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns while rushing 13 times for another 94 yards and a touchdown.
How Jackson plays is how the Ravens fare, as well, because he is such an important part of that offense, but it will be up to the defense to do their part for him, as well, by keeping the heavily rushing Browns offense off the field as much as possible.
There have been so many questions about Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, and when your team isn’t winning, it is fair to ask them all, but what is not as apparent is the situation that the former Oklahoma Sooner and Heisman Trophy winner had to endure in Cleveland, including multiple HC’s and OC’s in the short time he has been there.
But now, with steady coaching with an effective offensive line and some impressive targets on the roster to throw at, Mayfield is proving to be worthy of being the first overall pick, bringing his Browns to a 9-3 record for the first time since the 1994 season.
Mayfield has completed 187 passes for 2,055 yards and 17 touchdowns with 7 interceptions, low passing numbers due to how much the run game plays a part of that offense – watch for a big game from Baker in Week 14 against these Ravens to exact revenge for the humiliation the team suffered to them in Week 1.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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