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Keys to the Game: Baltimore @ Cleveland

Week 9: Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

Sunday November 4, 2012 1:00 PM

Line: Ravens -3 O/U 43.5


Back from the bye week the Ravens have a lot more questions than answers. Is it going to be the same ole same ole from Cam Cameron and company or has the coaching staff finally woken up to the fact that Ray Rice is the heart and soul of the offense. The Browns may still be the Browns but they’re coming off a solid win over the Chargers and they’ve been improving little by little each week. Is an upset brewing? With that in mind, let’s take a look at this week’s keys to the game. Keys to the Game

1st and 10: Secondary Issues

Prior to the bye week, the Ravens secondary was getting absolutely shredded. Weedon isn’t a top flight QB by any means but he still has the talent to make the Ravens pay, and pay big time.The secondary must play better, and this starts specifically with Jimmy Smith and Cary Williams

They have to step up their game, make better reads and for God’s sake learn to pressure the wideout at the line of scrimmage instead of letting QB’s quick snap them and double move them to death all game long.

2nd and Long: Pass Rush

The loss of Terrell Suggs hurt the Ravens more than anyone could have anticipated. The pass rush this season has been, at best, weak. But thankfully he pulled a Lazarus act and made it back long before even the most reasonable expectations. With that in mind, 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 against the Browns. Terrell is back. Use him to rush the QB and pull a double team to allow Ngata and Kruger to be more effective.

3rd and Short: 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.

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

If you let the Browns hang around, they will eventually beat you. Phillip Rivers found this out the hard way. It is imperative that they take as much momentum as possible with them into the next few games. 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. The Houston game left a big stain on this team. They cannot afford to let down now.

Extra Point: Keep the Balance

After the bye week we can only hope to see a change in how the Ravens manage their game plan on the road. For Cam Cameron that means running a balanced offense. Hopefully now Cam hass 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 (5-2)

Although it’s going to be a nail biter to the end, I think the Ravens do just enough to contain Richardson and pull off the win.

Ravens 27 — Browns 24

Matt Jergensen (6-1)

I was amazed over the break witnessing the general panic that has gripped the fanbase and media over a first place team. They have their issues but I think at least some of them will be solved today. It will be a close one but the Ravens should get out with a win.

Ravens 21 – Browns 13

Gene Winner (6-1)

The Browns are no push over and the Ravens defense will be asked to step up and stop RB Trent Richardson. A healthy T-Sizzle and Ngata will help give Baltimore the edge.

Ravens 23 – Browns 10

Ben Zinman (6-1)

The Ravens went into the bye week following one of the worst losses in Raven’s history. A loss to the Browns would be a disaster. Get Ray Rice the ball early and often to establish the run then Joe needs to begin picking apart the secondary, while continuing to return to Ray. Rice should touch the ball  at least 25-30 times.

Ravens 21 – Browns 17


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