The 2 best defenses in the NFL face off when the Browns and Ravens meet this week in…

The NFL’s two best defenses clash when the Browns and Ravens meet this week in a key AFC North matchup

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Deshaun Watson’s latest play on Baltimore’s stingy, snarling defense came from Cleveland’s sideline safety.

This week he will be in danger.
Watson, who returned last week after missing four games (including a 28-3 loss to the Ravens on Oct. 1) with a right shoulder injury, will face a Baltimore defense that leads the NFL in several statistical categories on Sunday .

And some of the ones that aren’t run by the Ravens are run by the Browns.

Baltimore’s defense ranks No. 1 in points allowed (13.8), touchdowns allowed (10), sacks (35) and red zone (33%), while Cleveland’s defense ranks No. 1 in total defense (234.8 yards). and third efficiency (26%), with the Ravens trailing just behind the Browns in each of the latter two measures.

Watson doesn’t need to look through stat sheets to know what he’s dealing with.

FILE – Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jadeveon Clowney pressures Cleveland Browns quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (17) during the first half of an NFL football game, Oct. 1, 2022 , in Cleveland.

The last time the Browns played the Ravens, Watson was safely on the sideline. He will be in danger on Sunday, November 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, file)

“They are very talented,” he said Wednesday. “They know exactly what they want to do.

A lot of guys have played a lot of football, a lot of depth on defense and they make sure you win everything. So they are very well trained, very great players, and you have to go out there and try to gain every meter. »

Watson surprisingly missed last month’s matchup against the Ravens.

Although he was limited in practice early in the game, initially suffering a shoulder bruise that became a strain, Watson was expected to start before he began experiencing pain during a training session. training on the field a few hours before kick-off.

The Browns (5-3) were forced to rely on rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who had no chance against the Ravens (7-2) in his professional debut.

Thompson-Robinson was sacked four times, intercepted three times and finished with just 121 passing yards as the Ravens feasted on a young QB, something Baltimore’s defense has been known to do over the past two decades .

While that outcome was somewhat predictable, Baltimore’s success against Cleveland’s defense was not.

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson ran for two touchdowns (he was untouched in both) and had two touchdown passes as Baltimore humiliated a Cleveland defense coming off a defeat of Tennessee the week before.

Always electric, Jackson was also efficient in completing 15 of 19 passes for 186 yards. The Browns sacked him three times but didn’t do enough, and the Ravens, who now lead the league in rushing, rolled for 131 yards.

The Browns believe they learned some lessons that day, and linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. said it’s pretty easy to identify what needs to change this week.

“Don’t give up 28 points,” he said. “We’ve got to do a better job of stopping the run, so obviously we start every week with an emphasis on stopping the run, being fundamentally healthy and getting through rush hour lanes and all that.

Don’t let them get out of your pocket own and make a mistake throwing in. He just plays better overall.

Cleveland’s defense can’t play any better than it did last week.

In the same way the Ravens overwhelmed Thompson-Robinson, the Browns were ruthless against rookie Arizona QB Clayton Tune, sacking him seven times and holding the Cardinals to just 58 yards in Cleveland’s first shutout since 2007.

Walker knows the key to stopping the Ravens is containing Jackson, who is 7-3 in 10 starts and has thrown his most touchdown passes (13) against Cleveland.

However, this is also an opportunity for the Browns to see how they can perform against a proven defense.
“Yes, we play against their offense,” he said.

“We understand that, but in a way we’re playing against their defense. The way to win football is to have more points at the end of the game and our job is to hold them to fewer points than us and their defense. So in that regard it’s our defense versus their defense.”

As for Watson, he knows better than to do something like that about him and Jackson.

“I have to focus on attacking this defense,” he said. “If I’m worried about another quarterback, I’m not going to play well. I’ve got to focus on the two linebackers, the edge rushers and the secondary and what they want to try to present to us.”

“That’s my main focus, is the Ravens defense.”

NOTES: It remains to be seen who will protect Watson’s back. With starting LT Jedrick Wills Jr. (knee) on injured reserve, Cleveland’s line will look fresh against Baltimore’s stout front.

Coach Kevin Stefanski, however, does not show his cards. “We are looking at our options,” Stefanski said.

Rookie RT Dawand Jones (shoulder/knee) was able to slide left, but missed Wednesday’s practice. Swing tackle James Hudson replaced 34 plays at left tackle after Wills was injured, but began the week working at right tackle. … CB Greg Newsome (groin), TE David Njoku (knee), WR Marquise Goodwin (concussion) and RB Pierre Strong Jr. (hamstring) also sat out.

FILE – Cleveland Browns running back Jerome Ford is tackled by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jeremiah Moon, left, and safety Geno Stone during an NFL football game Oct. 1, 2023, in Cleveland.

Deshaun Watson was safely on the sideline during the Browns’ last game against the Ravens. He will be in danger on Sunday November 12, 2023. 

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) is tackled by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Odafe Oweh (7) during the first half of an NFL football game , on Sunday, November 5, 2023, in Baltimore 99), rejected. 

Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (94) is congratulated by defensive end Myles Garrett after confronting Arizona Cardinals quarterback Clayton Tune during the second half of a game NFL football on Sunday, April 5. November 2023, released in Cleveland. 

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Roquan Smith (18) attempts to tackle Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson during an NFL football game in December. 17.2022, in Cleveland.

The last time the Browns played the Ravens, Watson was safely on the sideline. He will be in danger on Sunday November 12, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *