Well, when I started thinking about a list of things the Browns should and shouldn’t do on Sunday to beat the division rival Baltimore Ravens, I was still contemplating life with Travis Benjamin. Now, he’s out for the season with (yet another in a string of many in the NFL) an ACL injury. So much for our explosive return man.
Ok so here’s what the Browns MUST DO to even have a chance at beating the Ravens in Cleveland.
- Keep the Ravens defense away from the QB. While not nearly the dominating force they have been in the past, the Ravens defense is still a force to be reckoned with, especially in a divisional game.
- An issue that hopefully went away when they benched Weeden was the amount of time the QB spends holding the ball. Seriously. When Hoyer was QB, he held the ball for 2ish seconds and BOOM the ball was in a receivers hand. It was magical. Hoyer may be out, but that doesn’t mean quick decisions have to go away with him. Campbell needs to make things happen and make quick decisions.
- With Benjamin out, Davon Bess will be the standard return man. All I really want him to do is HOLD ON TO THE STUPID BALL! That big drop turned turnover last week really set us back, and should never have happened.
- We learned that Brandon Weeden is the problem. Jason Campbell came in and, while we didn’t win, we did a pretty good job (all things considered). The score wasn’t embarrassing, the turnovers weren’t outlandish, and Campbell wasn’t on the ground flailing like an awkward turtle (unlike Weeden tends to be). It’s amazing how one player can make such a difference. We need to keep the protection around Campbell.
- The receivers need to step up. No drops. Get open. Campbell can only do so much.
- We can’t allow any turnovers while we are on offense. Turnovers are the enemy. It’s one of the biggest ways the offense can lose a game. The other day, I watched one of the top high school football teams in the state fumble their way to a loss against their biggest rival. They had 6 turnovers total, one of them being a pick 6. So yea, it’s not all on the defense
- Speaking of the defense, penalties. They are an issue. Joe Haden needs to calm down a bit. Last week he had multiple penalties, some were quite costly, and that’s not helpful. Sacrificial pass interference to save a touchdown is ok, but 22 total penalties are not acceptable.
As is typical for a Browns vs Ravens game, I expect it to be very “chippy” and extremely physical. There will be words exchanged and probably a lot of shoving after plays have ended. But what do you want from us? Cleveland holds a grudge that won’t go away for quite a while, if ever.