NFL Football

47
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Baltimore 7 14 13 13 47
Cleveland 7 7 6 22 42
42
5:15 PM PT6:15 PM MT7:15 PM CT8:15 PM ET1:15 GMT9:15 6:15 PM MST8:15 PM EST7:15 PM CT5:15 UAE (+1)20:15 ET23:15 , December 14, 2020
FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio  Weather: 34°, Cloudy  Attendance: 11,974

Ravens-Browns Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

  1. The Ravens have taken eight of the last 10 meetings against the Browns, including a 38-6 victory in Baltimore in Week 1 this season. The Ravens are also 10-2 in their last 12 trips to Cleveland, most recently claiming a 31-15 win in Week 16 last season.
  2. Baltimore defeated Dallas, 34-17, on Tuesday, rushing for 294 yards in the win. It was the fourth most rushing yards in franchise history and the second time in three seasons the Ravens have tallied 290+ rushing yards (also December 30, 2018 vs. Cleveland) -- they had done so just three times in their first 22 seasons.
  3. Gus Edwards (101 yards), Lamar Jackson (94) and J.K. Dobbins (71) all rushed for 70+ yards in Tuesday's win, just the second time in franchise history the Ravens have had three players rush for 70+ yards (also December 30, 2018 vs. Browns). It's the second time this season any team has done so -- the Browns themselves also did so in Week 4, also against the Cowboys (Beckham Jr., Hunt, Johnson).
  4. Cleveland downed Tennessee, 41-35, for its fourth straight victory -- the second time the Browns have won four in a row this season. The Browns are seeking their first five-game win streak since taking five straight from September 18 to October 23, 1994 -- every other team has at least three such streaks since then.
  5. Baker Mayfield threw four touchdowns and no interceptions in the win over Tennessee and enters Week 14 without an interception in 156 attempts -- two shy of Drew Brees for the longest active streak in the NFL. He now has 70 career passing touchdowns in 42 career games, becoming the fastest Browns passer to reach 70 career touchdowns -- Otto Graham is the next-fastest, doing so in 52 games.
  6. Nick Chubb is averaging 6.01 yards per carry, second in the NFL behind only Arizona's Kyler Murray (6.52; min. 100 carries). Meanwhile, Baltimore's Lamar Jackson ranks third with 5.77 yards per carry, while Gus Edwards ranks 10th at 4.82 yards per carry.
(AP Photo/Terrance Williams, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) Browns coach Kevin Stefanski doesn't have many warm and fuzzy memories of Cleveland's opener at Baltimore, other than it being his debut of course.

It was a miserable, forgettable afternoon. A beatdown.

"We didn't go back and watch that game," Stefanski said this week.

Stefanski's decision to fake the season's first punt backfired badly, and it only got worse as the Browns were throttled 38-6. Lamar Jackson threw three touchdown passes and Baltimore's defense forced three turnovers.

Three months later, Stefanski has the Browns (9-3) in a much better place as they prepare to play Monday night against the Ravens (7-5), who have endured weeks of COVID-19 cases and postponements and are much healthier - but still not a playoff lock - with the inimitable Jackson back after a one-game absence.

Revenge isn't the only motivating factor for the Browns in their second swipe at the Ravens. A win would strengthen their grip on their first postseason berth in 18 years and keep them in contention for the AFC North title, which is suddenly back in play after Pittsburgh lost its first game.

Before any of that, it's the Ravens, who have been impressed by Cleveland's turnaround since Week 1.

"I said after the season opener that was a good football team and a lot of you guys just rolled your eyes, as I recall," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said to Baltimore beat writers this week. "It was pretty easy to see where they were going and what they were building. They're a good football team. They were a good football team then.

"They came out the next week (a win over Cincinnati) and proved they were a good football team. They're running the system they've installed - all three phases - and they've stuck to it and done a good job with it."

The Browns know that to have any chance of beating the Ravens, who rushed for 294 yards in a Tuesday night win over Dallas, the key is containing Jackson.

Good luck.

The league's reigning MVP is completely unpredictable with the ball in his hands. It's like trying to saddle a bucking bronco. Just when it looks as if you've got him, he's gone.

"There is no mystery with Lamar Jackson - an extremely talented player," Stefanski said. "He's hard to get on the ground. Bottom line: He is a great, great player. Outstanding with the ball in his hands, and then he can beat you with his arm or his legs. It is a challenge, and it is a challenge that all 11 guys on defense have to be about their business."

STRONG RETURN

Myles Garrett looked like Myles Garrett last week.

Cleveland's star defensive end returned after missing two games with COVID-19, and other than showing some understandable fatigue, spent most of the game in Tennessee's backfield. He had one sack, hurried quarterback Ryan Tannehill several times, and forced Titans offensive linemen to resort to whatever it took to stop him.

"He is a guy who can wreck a game and can wreck a play," Harbaugh said. "You just have to account for him at all times. He is so talented and so physically gifted."

RUNNING RAVENS

Jackson's return got Baltimore's strong running game roaring. The Ravens averaged 7.9 yards per carry against the Cowboys while getting contributions from Jackson and all three running backs.

Gus Edwards gained 101 yards on just seven carries. Jackson had 94 , including a 37-yard touchdown. Rookie J.K. Dobbins returned from a stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list to run for 71 and a score. Starter Mark Ingram contributed 28 yards.

"Everyone that touched the ball did something great with it," Dobbins said. "That's what we want to see every week, so we're just going to keep demanding excellence from the group and keep going."

Not only did the offensive line open holes, but Jackson wasn't sacked while throwing for a modest 107 yards and two touchdowns.

ON TARGET

One of the biggest reasons for Cleveland's turnaround has been quarterback Baker Mayfield's steady play of late. He hasn't thrown an interception since Oct. 25, a span of almost six games. He had one against the Ravens in the opener.

Mayfield has 11 TD passes and zero interceptions since his last pick, which came on the same play receiver Odell Beckham Jr. suffered a season-ending injury.

SICK BAY

The Ravens have gotten most of their players back following a stretch of 10 straight days with positive COVID-19 tests.

The Browns, too, have been dealing with numerous COVID-19 cases.

Baltimore linebacker Matthew Judon and tight end Mark Andrews will be back Monday after missing two straight games while on the COVID-19 list.

Cleveland starting right guard Wyatt Teller missed practice this week after having close contact with an infected person. The Browns are hoping he'll face the Ravens.

Baltimore will be without wide receiver Dez Bryant, who tested positive an hour before kickoff against Dallas. Bryant played in three games before the positive test ruined a reunion with the Cowboys, his team for over eight seasons.

"He's doing as well as can be expected," Harbaugh said. "He's he's pretty hurt by it. Not at anybody, but just the circumstances. He's a little stunned by it, surprised. He's trying to work his way through it right now."

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Updated December 10, 2020

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