Biggest lesson learned from Brown’s defense against Baltimore? “I’ll let the Ravens figure it out.”

Cleveland Browns defense vs. Baltimore Ravens, October 1, 2023

A piece of classic AFC North play. But there’s no denying that the Browns defense wasn’t put in the best position against the Ravens in the first round, and some of what they need to fix is ​​pretty clear.

That was the first full game Deshaun Watson missed due to his right rotator cuff injury, with Cleveland deciding that rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson would start in Watson’s place about two and a half hours before kickoff.

The offense turned the ball over three times as Thompson-Robinson threw three interceptions, with two of those picks leading to Ravens touchdowns and the third ending the game.

On both touchdowns, Baltimore started at the Cleveland 10 and Cleveland 38.

Overall, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson finished the game 15 of 19 for 186 passing yards and two scores and added 27 rushing yards on nine carries and two rushing touchdowns.

The Ravens totaled 131 rushing yards, the second-worst mark for the Browns defense this season, and 296 net yards.

The Ravens were able to take advantage of the aggressiveness of the defense thanks to numerous substitutions and movements before the action.

The Browns leaned heavily on it, especially when it was run by rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers.

This opened up gaps that Jackson could exploit by getting into those open areas to make throws or finding holes large enough to escape onto the floor.

While Schwartz didn’t elaborate on what changes he might make to avoid a repeat, he did share a little about what Jackson did well.

“Yeah, he made some plays from scrimmage and some quarterback plays in the first game we played, and we need to do better on that,” he said.

“We also did a lot of good things in the first game. I didn’t play a consistent game and I didn’t finish the game well, but there’s a lot to take from that game.”

The rematch will feature two of the best defenses in the league. The Browns lead the NFL in defensive yards allowed (234.8 average), pass defense (145.0 yards average) and third down percentage (26%).

The Ravens lead in points per game (13.8) and red zone defense (33.3%).
Schwartz was content not to say much about this either.

“Ratings mean nothing for this game,” he said. “We have to go out there and do our best and not worry about what the other side of the ball is doing or what they are doing on defense.

We have our challenges. We have things we need to achieve and if we worry about comparing ourselves to someone else, we won’t achieve any of the goals we have.

The Ravens will be at least moderately healthier on offense than in the first game, when they were without receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman sat back and let tackle Ronnie Stanley go.

The Ravens also found a way to add rookie running back Keaton Mitchell, who ran for 138 yards on 10 carries in a win over the Seahawks last week, more into the mix.

Both Bateman (back) and Mitchell (hamstring) appeared on the Ravens’ injury report Thursday, but were still limited participants in practice.

However, regardless of who is active from Week 4, Schwartz says the defense won’t see much change in its plan of attack.

“They have quality players that they are using with substitutes and there may also be players missing,” he said. “So your plan remained the same.

They have evolved a little throughout the season. Every team does it. We have evolved and do things a little differently here and there.

So when it’s all said and done, they have a pretty good idea of ​​who we are. We have a good idea who they are. Maybe there are some different faces, but it will be a good AFC North battle.”

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