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Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns

Baltimore Ravens (5-3) @ Cleveland Browns (2-6)

Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012 – 1:00pm

‘Moment of Truth’

After a bye week to sort things out the Ravens head to Cleveland to take on the talented running game of Trent Richardson, who just came off a stellar game versus San Diego, rushing for 122 yards.  During the bye week there was talk of changes coming on both sides of the ball for Baltimore. Will we see more balance from the offense; more touches from running back Ray Rice? Will we see an improved defense with Terrell Suggs back in the line up?  The moment of truth comes against a feisty and competitive Browns team.

 

CHALK IT UP/KEY MATCH-UPS

 

Ravens Run D vs. Rookie Trent Richardson:

Running back Trent Richardson has done nothing more than to exceed expectations this year. In his first NFL season Richardson has proven to be tough runner (between the tackles), athletic and has fought through injuries. Last week he willed a victory for Cleveland running on the San Diego Chargers.  Richardson finished with 122 yards, 1 TD, and a 5.1 rush ave.  Still, overall the browns rush offense ranks 30th (85.9 yards).  The Ravens run defense has been poor this year and Sunday if they can not contain Richardson, then it could be a long day. The Ravens run defense ranks a dismal 30th against the run, averaging 142.9 yards a game.  A healthy DT Haloti Ngata and OLB Terrell Suggs will give the unit a much needed boost.

Keep a watch: On the Ravens tackling. Too many times this year defenders have been taking bad angles at the point of attack and not wrapping up to finish tackles.

 

Ravens Pass Rush vs. QB Rookie Weeden:

In week three in Baltimore the Ravens struggled getting to Weeden, who put up 320 yards in that match-up.  As far as a pass rush, the Ravens initial formula was to have rookie OLB Courtney Upshaw opposite OLB Suggs (now healthy) and we should see that tandem more this Sunday. QB Weeden was off to a rocky start, but the last few games he has been making better choices instead of throwing interceptions. Plain and simple, the Ravens pass rush must get pressure on opposing quarterbacks, especially with their number one starting corner Lardarius Webb out.

Keep a watch: On how Terrell Suggs does against the steady left tackle Joe Thomas.

 

Ravens O-line vs. DE Jaabal Sheard:

Go back to the loss at Houston, Flacco was pummeled and we’ll have to see what changes occurred during the bye week, if any, to the O-line.  Flacco needs time and Jaabal Sheard, a player who can disrupt the pocket, has played well against the Ravens.   The Browns have 19 sacks on the season and sacked Falcco 4 times in the first contest between the two teams. Flacco did have success at home in this year’s first match-up, throwing for 356 yards. –Yet, he has struggled on the road.

 

Ravens Receivers vs. Brown’s Secondary:

When the Ravens faced the Browns in Baltimore CB Joe Haden was serving a 4 game suspension. With Haden in the line-up the Browns secondary is better. Haden might be assigned to WR Torrey Smith and that could open the door for WR Anquan Boldin who had 9 receptions for 131 yards against the Browns earlier this year. Cleveland ranks 25th versus the pass overall.

 

RB Ray Rice vs. Browns Run D:

Rice will be looked to to jump start the offense on the road.  The Browns run defense ranks 24th (133 yards per game) and last week gave up close to 95 yards to San Diego’s Ryan Mathews. The Ravens philosophy will likely be to challenge the Browns run defense in order to open up the field for QB Joe Flacco in the passing game. The Browns rank 24th against the run.

Keep a watch: On Ray Rice versus LB D’Qwell Jackson.  Jackson is having a solid season and had a season-high 14 tackles versus San Diego.


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