The Cleveland Browns head to Baltimore to face the Ravens. There are several areas that the Browns must focus on in Week 4 in order to win.
Take away the middle of the field
Last week, we saw Lamar Jackson’s performance improve when Jackson had a tight end over the middle of the field. When forced to throw outside and downfield to a receiver he overthrew them several times. Keeping at least one linebacker in zone coverage in the middle of the field should limit open targets for Lamar Jackson. Take away the easy timing throw and force Jackson to throw it deep. Until Jackson can show that he can beat them consistently with that throw this is what the Browns defense needs to force him to do.
Contain Lamar Jackson
There is another component to Lamar Jackson. Jackson’s ability to use his legs. They need to do their best to contain him. This is easier said than done.
Here is the deal. Jackson is going to run. Jackson will make plays on the ground. First downs will be picked up and it will be crucial for the Browns defense not to lose their composure. They will need to do their best to contain him and limit what he is able to do on the ground. If not, it will be a long day on defense.
Baker Mayfield is struggling when holding the ball for more than 2.5 seconds. Getting the ball out quickly is the key for the offense.
The concepts and schemes from Todd Monken are clearly not working. Freddie Kitchens has got to run what he knows best and what best suits Baker Mayfield.
Nick Chubb had a better game last week and will need to be involved again this week. Chubb had 27 touches for 128 yards (23 carries for 96 yards and four receptions for 35 yards).
Things will not be easy. Baltimore always plays Cleveland tough, especially in the physicality department. There will be runs for no gain or negative yards. However, the Browns cannot abandon the run. Keeping Chubb involved will provide balance and ultimately unlock the offense’s full potential.
Scoring after takeaways
This was excruciating to watch. The failure to put points on the board after a takeaway was a huge factor in Sunday Night’s loss. Three points off of three three takeaways is unacceptable. One drive started and ended in the red zone while the other started and ended near midfield. Cleveland needs to put points on the board a after forcing a turnover in order to win.