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Ravens/Browns Post Game Recap 12-22-19

The Ravens take care of business and secure the number one seed in the AFC. Assuming the Ravens win their opening playoff game the AFC title comes through Baltimore which will be the first time the AFC title is held in Baltimore. The Ravens got the revenge they wanted today against the Browns, and they capped it off by keeping Chubbs, the league rushing leader, to just 45 yards. The defense did a great job keeping the Browns in check and if not for the officials, they might have pitched a shut-out. Other thoughts on the game are below:

• Browns defense gave up two TDs to the Ravens in the final 1:50 seconds of the first half which is absolutely in excusable. Keep in mind that the Browns offensive possession used just 15 seconds of clock which allowed the Ravens to get another possession before the end of the half – folks that is why the Browns with all the talent that they have are not contenders. Those two minutes completely switched the tone and momentum of the game – and all in the Ravens favor
• Early in the game the Ravens go for it on 4th and 3 failing to convert and give the Browns great field position. I don’t ever like roll out plays on 4th down because you have no plan B if the play is not there. Fortunately for the Ravens the defense got a stop and kept the Browns from taking advantage of the good field position
• Early in the game I thought the Ravens secondary played soft in coverage leaving a lot of room for the Brown’s receivers
• Lamar’s running game is incredible and his ability to slip, slide and juke his way out of tight spaces is partly why he is a lock for the MVP award
• Beckham getting called for unsportsmanlike conduct is a great example of all that is wrong with the Cleveland Browns. There was absolutely no reason for him to taunt in that situation
• Browns defense really committed to stopping the Ravens run game and at times it worked, but when the game got to the second quarter the Ravens just grinded them down to a nub
• I really like Hollywood Brown, but he does fall down more than any other receiver I’ve seen after he catches the ball. Not sure if it is to protect his body but he is missing an opportunity to get yards after the catch
• The sloppy fake handoff from Jackson to Ingram caused the first turnover of the game and provided the Browns with excellent field position which turned into seven points for the Browns. They are so good at that fake but it was bound to happen at some point
• The PI call on Marcus Peters was a ticky tacky call and I say that having watched a lot of football and that kind of contact from a DB is rarely called. The PI call on Jimmy Smith was a horrible call and it was very clear that the ball could not have been caught in the field of play. Refs really need to do a better job
• Ravens offense looked completely out of sync in the first half and Lamar was not sharp at all in his passes as he seemed to be off target. Then he woke up with 1:50 seconds left in the half – scored twice and took the lead
• Ravens offensive line gave Lamar a clean pocket most of the day and did an exceptional job in run blocking – especially in the second half
• Browns were aggressive on 4th down and they converted several due to Raven’s penalties
• Browns offensive line was pretty good today in protection and Mayfield had time to find open receivers
• Ravens had terrible field position today which really made it hard for them to sustain drives to score
• Ravens defense did a great job containing Chubbs in the first half as he had just 8 carries for 17 yards. Chubbs did a little better in the second half but all in all was a non-factor in this game
• Congratulations to Lamar Jackson who set a franchise record for TD passes!
• Mark Andrews has come up so big in just his second year and has turned out to be one of the best TE’s in the game and was big for the Ravens today with 6 catches, 93 yards and 2 TDs
• Ravens kick return game continues to be lethargic and this will have to be addressed in the off season because De’Anthony Thomas is not he answer. I am pretty sure the hit he took on his return in the 4th quarter dislodged his soul from his body
• Justice Hill is not a very big man but I really like how physical he runs when he gets contact, and if he beats you to the edge – just forget about it
• I really hope that I don’t see this referee crew in the playoffs because they officiated a terrible game in my humble opinion
• Pierce and Williams in the middle are about as good a pair of interior linemen as you will see in the league
• I hate seeing our players get banged up this late in the season. Peters, Ingram, and Smith all went down in this game at some point. I do hope that Ingram’s calf issue was just cramps and not more serious.
• The Ravens goal line defense with the Browns at 4th and 1 was great for 3 downs, but a face mask penalty calls on Smith gave them new life and seven points on the very next play
• Ravens offense racked up 481 yards of offense today and held the Browns to just 241 yards of total offense – that is what you call championship caliber football
• For the record the Browns got most of their first downs by penalties – most of which were bogus
• How about Gus Edwards and the job he did in the second half moving those chains with his 6-yard runs

Game Predictions

Score      Ravens    31      Browns    20          Ravens 31     Browns   15
Turnovers             Plus 2                                                  Even
Net Rushing Yardage      Ravens    210      Browns    124          Ravens   243     Browns   49
Net Passing Yardage      Ravens    229      Browns    261          Ravens   238     Browns   192

Miscellaneous Predictions

• Ravens rush 35+ times          Correct – 40 attempts and 243 yards
• Judon gets 2 sacks             Incorrect, but he did lead the team in tackles with 5
• Hill gets 5 carries for 23 yards           Incorrect – 3 carries for 19 yards and 1 TD
• Refs make terrible calls                Clearly these refs were Cleveland natives

Keys to the Game

• Harass Baker and force mistakes            Correct, threw one pick and missed a few big plays
• Play ball control offense and score in the red zone             Correct, held the ball for over 34 minutes and scored 4 TDs
• Contain Chub and keep him under 80 yards           Correct, outstanding job from the front seven today

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