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Keys to the Game: Cleveland @ Baltimore

Can Flacco Keep the Offense Humming?

Week 4: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens

Sunday September 27, 2012 8:00 PM

Line: Ravens -13 O/U 43.5

Well that was exciting. Tom Terrific did everything in his power to steal another game against the Ravens, but ultimately Belicheat out Belicheated himself and the Ravens edged out a closely contested, and hotly debated, victory. This week however there is no rest for the wicked as the Browns loom on the horizon. Will the Birds of Baltimore muster the courage to soldier through a short week divisional matchup or will the pressure be too much to overcome? With that in mind, let’s take a look at this week’s keys to the game.

BGR Keys to the Game

 

1st and 10: Contain Trent Richardson

Trent Richardson is precisely the type of running back that the Ravens have come to dread in seasons past. He is big, he is fast, he is physical, and he will flat run over you if you give him a chance. Richardson is a homerun hitter with physical attributes comparable to Marshawn Lynch or Willis McGahee.

He could easily spell doom for this struggling Ravens defense, and if victory is to be had the front seven must do their very best to keep him contained and force Weedon to air the ball out.

2nd and Long: Pass Rush

The loss of Terrell Suggs has hurt the Ravens more than anyone could have anticipated. The pass rush this season has been, at best, weak. The lack of a rush has led to a whole host of problems throughout the secondary. Cary Williams appeared to be a major weakness without the pass rush to cover up his mistakes in coverage. The Ravens have got to find a way to get pressure on the QB, or else the same consistent problems are going to manifest themselves week in and week out.

3rd and Short: Secondary Issues

Speaking of Cary Williams, he has got to play better, plain and simple. He’s nowhere near the abomination that was Frank Walker but Williams looks absolutely lost at times. Brady keyed in on him early in the game last week and never looked back. He pounded the right side of the field mercilessly and made Williams look just awful.

He has to step up his game, make better reads and for God’s sake learnt to pressure the wideout at the line of scrimmage instead of letting QB’s quick snap him to death all game long.

4th Down: Strike First, Strike Hard, No Mercy

After the Ravens square off against the Browns they face a tough stretch of Kansas City, Dallas and Houston before limping into the bye week. It is imperative that they take as much momentum as possible with them into the game at Arrowhead. Beating the Browns into submission could be just what the Ravens need to get over the hump. They simply cannot afford to allow this team to think it has a shot at winning.

Must come out strong and show no mercy. Sunday was an emotional and physically devastating game between to heated rivals. They cannot afford to let down now.

Extra Point: Keep the Balance

Cam Cameron rebounded nicely from his debacle in Philadelphia to call a well rounded and well executed offensive game plan. Hopefully now he’s gotten it through his thick skull that Joe excels at play action, but that play action only works when you establish the run.

The Browns are not nearly as talented as the Ravens are, but that’s no excuse to get lazy. The Ravens must mix it up effectively to muscle Cleveland out of this contest. As goes Cam Cameron, so goes the team.

BGR Predictions

Jonathon Scruggs (1-2)

I’d be worried about the trap game if this were road contest. But since it’s not, I think the Ravens do just enough to contain Richardson and pull off the win.

Ravens 27 — Browns 17

Matt Jergensen (2-1)

 “I’m with Mr. Scruggs. I’d be real worried if this were a road game and if this were any other team but the Browns. The Ravens offense is really clicking right now and I don’t see Cleveland as the team to really slow them down. The Browns will stick close early but look for the purple to pull away in the second half.”

Ravens 31 – Browns 14

Gene Winner (2-1)

The Ravens can’t over look a Browns team looking for their first win. The good news is the Ravens are home and should be focused.

Ravens 27 – Browns 13

Ben Zinman (2-1)

The Ravens are coming off an emotional rollercoaster of a contest in their last second victory against the Patriots. Even though they are home, they will be running on fumes. If it were any other team,  I would place this game in the loss column.


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One Response to “Keys to the Game: Cleveland @ Baltimore”

  1. Evan says:

    I took the Ravens -12 in this one. I think Baltimore has too much fire power and too much left to prove to not come out on their home field and DOMINATE. To read my write-up on it, check out my post from earlier today: http://thefootballjuice.com/week-4-thursday-night-football-showdown-cleveland-browns-at-baltimore-ravens/

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