Everything You Need to Know: Ravens vs. Browns



Kickoff: 1 p.m., FirstEnergy Stadium

TV: WJZ Channel 13 (Baltimore), WUSA Channel 9 (Washington), CBS crew Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Trent Green (analyst), Melanie Collins (sideline)

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM) and 98 Rock (97.9 FM), Ravens crew Gerry Sandusky (play-by-play), Femi Ayanbadejo (analyst)


The Ravens hold a 34-11 lead in the all-time series, including a 23-4 edge under Head Coach John Harbaugh. The Ravens and Browns met just two weeks ago at M&T Bank Stadium, when Baltimore prevailed, 16-10, holding Cleveland to a season-low 40 yards rushing. Lamar Jackson threw a career-high four interceptions in the game, but also threw a touchdown pass to Mark Andrews and rushed for 68 yards. Inside linebacker Patrick Queen had his best game of the season, leading a strong Baltimore defensive effort with eight tackles.


Every divisional game in the tightly-bunched AFC North will be critical down the stretch. The Ravens could seriously damage Cleveland's playoff hopes by sweeping the season series for the second straight year. A Cleveland win would drop the Ravens to 1-3 in the division, which could hurt Baltimore later in possible tie-breaker scenarios.

Key Storylines

Will either team find answers offensively?

The Ravens have scored fewer than 20 points in four straight games. The Browns haven't scored more than 17 points in six of their last seven. Baltimore is having its longest offensive slump since Jackson became the starting quarterback. Recent opponents have blitzed the Ravens frequently with great success, disrupting their rhythm and pressuring Jackson, who has been sacked an NFL-high 37 times. For the Browns, Baker Mayfield has labored playing with injuries most of the season and has been inconsistent, as has their entire offense. Sunday will be another low-scoring slugfest unless these teams find some answers offensively.

How will the Ravens' defense cope without Marlon Humphrey?

The Ravens have done a phenomenal job overcoming injuries since training camp started. But the loss of Humphrey for the season will be a major challenge, with elite receivers like Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, Diontae Johnson and Ja'Marr Chase still on Baltimore's schedule. Humphrey's versatility as an All-Pro corner who can cover receivers outside and inside, defend the run with physicality, blitz and force turnovers is rare. Jarvis Landry of the Browns had a season-high six catches for 111 yards against Baltimore in Week 12. This game will be the first indication of how Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale plans to reinvent the defense without Humphrey, one of its major pieces.

Will a bye and playing the Ravens back-to-back benefit Cleveland?

NFL teams rarely face the same opponent back-to-back during the regular season. But that's what the Browns are doing, coming off a bye week and facing Baltimore for the second time in three weeks. The Browns have had time to rest, get healthier, and study the Ravens extensively. Those should be advantages for Cleveland, but the Ravens hope this is another situation where being the underdog brings out their best.

Matchups to Watch

QB Lamar Jackson vs. CB Denzel Ward and S John Johnson II

Jackson threw a career-high four interceptions against Cleveland in Week 12, and Ward and Johnson both had a pick. They lead the Browns with three interceptions apiece, and will seek opportunities to coerce Jackson into mistakes. All four of Jackson's interceptions against Cleveland came on passes intended for Andrews. While Jackson-to-Andrews is a lethal combination, Jackson must be careful not to force throws that lead to negative consequences.

ILB Patrick Queen vs. RBs Nick Chubb & Kareem Hunt

Baltimore's defensive line did an excellent job against the Browns in Week 12, but Queen was a missile from the linebacker position with eight tackles, two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. Queen reacted quickly, shooting into gaps and finishing plays by tackling better than he did early in the season. The Ravens will need another solid performance from Queen, because once Chubb or Hunt reach the second level, they are dangerous enough to break long runs.

LT Alejandro Villanueva & RT Tyre Phillips vs. edge rushers Myles Garrett & Jadeveon Clowney

With Patrick Mekari (wrist) out, Phillips is the likely starter and he's coming off a tough game against T.J. Watt. That's a difficult matchup for anyone, but only Watt has more sacks (16) than Garrett (14), and keeping Clowney (3.5 sacks) out of the backfield is no picnic either. Villanueva and Phillips will have their hands full trying to keep the pocket clean for Jackson.

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