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Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens Bet Preview
One of the biggest rivalry games of the year for the hometown Cleveland Browns is renewed this week, as Cleveland goes to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. In this Sunday Night Football matchup, the Browns will look to overcome their recent offensive woes, against a Ravens team that expects to have its quarterback again. Baltimore enters this game as a four-point favorite, as they look to continue to distance themselves in the AFC North race.
The Cleveland Browns got a win last week against the winless Detroit Lions, but it was far from an aesthetically pleasing performance by the Browns. Cleveland was able to stop Tim Boyle and the patchwork offense of the Lions, but the Browns’ offense had trouble getting into gear for the entirety of the game. This week, the Browns will need to play better offensively if they want any shot to beat Baltimore.
For the Browns, it is the passing game that has weighed them down throughout this season. Cleveland is one of the league leaders in yards per carry average all year long, but they have struggled to generate big plays with Baker Mayfield and their aerial attack. They will need to have success with the pass to open up space to run as the game wears on.
Baltimore also picked up an ugly win last week, beating the Chicago Bears on the road in a low-scoring affair. But the Ravens had an excuse for just scraping by, as quarterback Lamar Jackson missed the game due to a non-COVID illness. Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley stepped in for Jackson and struggled throughout, but led a late touchdown drive that made the difference in the game.
This week, it will be interesting to see how Lamar Jackon performs after dealing with what appeared to be a pretty serious illness. Jackson is so reliant on his ability to be mobile and move the ball with his speed that any lingering effects from his illness could slow down the Ravens’ offense some more. But Jackson has said that he is good to go for this game, which should ease concerns about how able he is to play at his normal level.
Keys To The Game
The biggest key to this game for the Cleveland Browns is figuring out how to slow Lamar Jackson down. Entering this game as an underdog, Cleveland’s defense knows it is going to be tested by the best dual-threat quarterback in the league today. If the Browns can either force him to stay in the pocket or make him a pure runner, they could very well pull off the upset in this matchup.
Baltimore’s top key to this contest is whether or not they can play at a high level offensively without Lamar Jackson missing a beat. We have seen quarterbacks like Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson come back from injuries and struggle in their first game this season. And while Jackson’s illness is different than an ankle injury or a finger injury, it isn’t always easy to get back up to game speed right away.
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