After a crushing 21-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cleveland Browns look to bounce back in week two. However, the odds seem to be against them, as they’ll be heading into Baltimore to face the Ravens. The Ravens pummeled the Cincinnati Bengals in week one by a score of 20-0. Although the Browns certainly have a steep hill to climb, there are some steps they can take to gameplan for these Ravens. These are our week two Cleveland Browns keys to victory.
Week Two Cleveland Browns Keys to Victory
1) Noe Flacco
Last week, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw for 121 yards on 52.9% completion. If Flacco is doing that with his receiving corps of Jeremy Maclin and Breshad Perriman, the Browns better watch out. All things considered, Flacco looked pretty good last week, and that cannot happen when the Browns come to Baltimore.
In week one, the Browns allowed Ben Roethlisberger to collect 263 yards and two touchdowns. Let’s get one thing straight; Roethlisberger is elite. Flacco, however, has shown in the past that he rarely competes at an elite level. This young Browns secondary should be able to at least somewhat contain Baltimore’s painfully average receivers. They won’t have to cover Antonio Brown this Sunday, that’s for certain.
2) Keep Kizer Comfortable
During his week one debut, rookie DeShone Kizer looked…well, competent. He wasn’t some hotshot rookie that lit up the other team for 300 yards. However, he did complete nearly 67% of his passes for 222 yards and a touchdown. Additionally, he ran for a touchdown. He did have a rather embarrassing interception, but ignore that for now. Rookie mistakes happen, and hopefully, Kizer can make up for some of them in week two.
For one, Isaiah Crowell just flat out has to play better. In week one, he rushed for a pitiful 33 yards on 17 carries. This is especially bad considering the fact that Cleveland has one of the best offensive lines in football. Speaking of the offensive line, they’ll need to block just a bit longer for Kizer. Sure, some of the sacks he took were his own fault, but not all of them. Hopefully in week two, the line begins to gel together a lot more. Better offensive line play and running back support for Kizer is one of our biggest Browns keys to victory this week.
3) Clean Up Special Teams
Chris Tabor is one of the league’s best special teams coaches. Especially when you consider what he’s been through with the Browns, he’s got a very impressive resume. Tabor has seen multiple regime changes and has remained with the turbulent Browns organization through it all. However, that does not save him from fault in Cleveland’s week one loss.
During the game’s opening minutes, Matt Dayes missed a block on the Steelers which caused a blocked punt from Britton Colquitt. The punt rolled into the endzone for a Steelers touchdown, and ultimately was the difference in the game. This simply cannot happen against an opportunist defense like Baltimore’s. Really, the Browns will have to execute nearly perfectly on special teams in order to keep an edge on Baltimore. If they do not, another special teams mishap could result in a crushing loss to send Cleveland to 0-2.
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