Wow, the Browns actually look like a competent football team this year. That’s not a sentence I could get used to saying. In all seriousness, the Cleveland Browns look like a well enough rounded team to make a push for the playoffs this year. This makes them an even bigger challenge for the Baltimore Ravens for Week 3. Let’s look at some keys to victory for the Ravens.
1. Stopping The Star Of Towson
Most would think the Browns would be without a running game after Ben Tate went down with a knee injury and is out for an unspecified amount of time. Unfortunately for the Ravens, this isn’t the case. Towson alumni Terrance West has stepped up in a big way for the Browns, rushing for 168 yards and one touchdown on 35 attempts. Stopping the run and keeping the ball out of Terrence West’s hands will force Brian Hoyer to pass the ball more, which will not be good because they then become one dimensional. Hoyer is completing 60 percent of his passes, but he is 29th in yards per attempt at 6.09. Limiting to him only to his dump off passes will cripple their offense.
2. Give The Ball To Forsett
I like Bernard Pierce, I really do, but he’s not explosive and cannot stay healthy. I’m not saying don’t give him the ball, but split the carries down the middle between Forsett and Pierce. Forsett is averaging 6.6 yards per carry on 16 attempts and Pierce is averaging 4.0 yards per carry on 28 attempts. It’s evident that Forsett is the more explosive running back and going up against Cleveland, who has given up the ninth most rushing yards this season, you have to take advantage of that.
3. Stop The Big Man
Jordan Cameron is hot and cold most of the time, but when he’s hot, he’s putting up points. Cameron finished last season with 80 receptions, 917 yards, and seven touchdowns, but he’s coming off a shoulder injury so he should be much easier to stop. Cameron is one of Hoyer’s favorite targets, catching three touchdown passes from him in the three and half games they’ve played together. Eliminating Cameron really leaves Hoyer with Andrew Hawkins, the only other above average performer. And with Webb back healthy it’ll be much easier to limit him too.
4. Targeting Torrey
“Slow start” is putting it nicely for Wide Receiver Torrey Smith, who only has four receptions for 60 yards on 11 targets. Steve Smith, Dennis Pitta, and Owen Daniels all have more receptions than Torrey and while Steve Smith is tough, he isn’t explosive in the traditional sense. Torrey was supposed to the deep threat coming into this season, but as of right now he only has one reception over 20 yards and has no touchdowns. Torrey’s explosive will need to be utilized against Cleveland’s defense which has given up the fifth most passing yards.
The Browns beat New Orleans and they almost beat Pittsburgh, they are not at team to slouch on this year so far. They’ve had a few injuries that they’ve managed extremely well which is good for them, but their defense is still a huge question mark, as they’ve given up the third most yards. Taking advantage of that lack luster defense and getting the ball to certain players are things the Ravens need to take act on for Week 3 to be a success.