The Ravens (7-3) are coming off another wild finish in a 16-13 win over the Bears in Chicago. Backup Tyler Huntley led Baltimore to victory but starting quarterback Lamar Jackson is expected to be back under center for a key AFC North content against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night. Here’s who has the edge in each phase:
Ravens passing game vs. Browns pass defense
Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley led the Ravens to a comeback victory over the Chicago Bears, but Lamar Jackson is expected to return from illness against the Browns. Jackson struggled with the Miami Dolphins’ relentless Cover-0 blitzes in his last start, but the Browns rank in the league’s bottom 10 in blitz rate, so this might not be the week for him to show how he has adjusted. The Ravens also played without their No. 1 wide receiver, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (thigh), against the Bears. Tight end Mark Andrews stepped in as Huntley’s chief target with eight catches, five of them for first downs. He’s on track for career highs in receptions and yards. Veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins was sharper in his second game back from a hamstring injury, catching the pass that set up the Ravens’ game-winning touchdown. First-round pick Rashod Bateman has caught 21 passes for 270 yards in his first five games and has also drawn three interference penalties, a result of his clean, quick releases from the line of scrimmage. The Ravens rank 11th in the league in passing and 14th in yards per attempt.
The Browns feature some of the best front-line defensive talent in the league and rank eighth in pass defense (though just 24th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA). They have been torched by some of the better quarterbacks they’ve faced, most recently New England Patriots rookie Mac Jones in a 45-7 loss in Week 10. Myles Garrett is a leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, with 13 sacks and 26 quarterback hits in 11 games. Jadeveon Clowney (neck/wrist/knee), who was limited Wednesday, has played well on the other side, with 3 ½ sacks and 12 quarterback hits in 10 games. Denzel Ward is again one of the league’s top cover cornerbacks after he struggled at times in his second and third seasons.
Browns passing game vs. Ravens pass defense
Quarterback Baker Mayfield (shoulder/foot/groin), who did not practice Wednesday, is dealing with a torn labrum and a fracture in his non-throwing shoulder, and he completed just 15 of 29 passes with two interceptions as the Browns scraped by the winless Detroit Lions in Week 11. Mayfield ranks 27th in ESPN’s QBR, a measure of all-around quarterback performance. He still does his best work in play-action but has taken 27 sacks in 10 games, a surprise given the quality of Cleveland’s offensive line. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry remains Mayfield’s most frequent target, but his efficiency has plummeted this season. Donovan Peoples-Jones is a vertical threat, averaging 20.6 yards per catch, but he missed …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment