HOW TO WIN: Ravens v. Browns

Street Talk HOW TO WIN: Ravens v. Browns

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How the Ravens can win:

 

1. Contain Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow. These two explosive downfield threats can impact a game in an instant. A shorthanded secondary desperately needs Chris McAlister to do more than just play today. He needs to be at near his normal capabilities.
2. Pressure Derek Anderson. Anderson isn’t very nimble afoot, especially considering he wears size 19 cleats. It’s critical that outside linebacker Terrell Suggs win his personal duel with rookie left tackle Joe Thomas.
3. Throw the ball downfield. The Browns have a bad defense, ranking last in the league with an average of 410 yards surrendered per game. With Kyle Boller taking over under center, it’s time to loosen up the reins on this offense and fire up a few deep balls.
 
How the Browns can win

 

1. Go after Corey Ivy. If Chris McAlister is out or limited, then Braylon Edwards could exploit the cornerback’s lack of ideal size. The size mismatch is even more pronounced for Joe Jurevicius (6-foot-5, 230 pounds), who has eight inches and nearly 50 pounds on Ivy.
2. Stop the run. Willis McGahee has been the most consistently reliable aspect of the offense, continually churning out yards except in games where Baltimore has fallen behind and abandoned the running game. The Browns’ tackling and pursuit has been suspect, though.
3. Blitz Kyle Boller. Boller demonstrated in a loss to the Buffalo Bills that he’s still vulnerable to interior pressure. He doesn’t make very good decisions when defenders penetrate the backfield quickly, and can still be prone to fundamental lapses in his fifth NFL season like throwing off his back foot.
 
Three downs with …
Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs

 

1. On whether there’s a sense of urgency: "You may start to get a sense of panic because there’s no way in the world you’d have thought we’d be one game under .500. Not with this team. It’s just the way our cards have been dealt to us, but if we play them right, we should come out all right.”
2. On the fans’ booing last week: "I really wasn’t paying attention. I was too busy trying to correct whatever we could on defense. I thought they were booing the way we were playing. We weren’t playing that good. I’d have booed us, too. You can’t disappoint your fans because, at the end of the day, that’s all you have.”
3. On being winless in the AFC North: "We know that you can’t rack up the AFC losses, you definitely have to start getting some wins in your division, especially if you want to play in the postseason.
"Your window of opportunity, for us, is closing, so, like I said, we better take care of business at home. And we definitely can’t afford to drop any more AFC losses. I don’t think we can really afford to drop any more losses.”
 
Three downs with …
Cleveland Browns coach Romeo Crennel

 

1. On what surprises him about Derek Anderson: "He’s been able to run his offense, and the guys have rallied around behind him, and they’re doing a good job for him.

"So those things: ability, playmaking ability, and the ability to be quarterback in the NFL. So this year, he’s taken the bull by the horns, so to speak, and he’s been running with it.”
2. On the Ravens’ struggles: "It looks to me, just like when I was losing, if you turn the ball over, it’s hard to overcome. If you have injuries to your good guys, it’s hard to overcome. And that seems to be the problem that the Ravens are having. You have turnovers, it’s hard for you to win when you turn the ball over a lot.

"And if you get your good guys hurt, even though you do have backups, and you tell them they have to be ready to step in and play, the reason that they’re backups is because they’re not as good as your starters. So if you lose a starter, that hurts you. So I think that’s what’s happening.”
3. On what Jamal Lewis has meant to the Browns: â€œHe has provided some stability at the running back position, because we can have a proven running back that we know what he can do. He’s got good size. He came to  camp in really good shape, as evidenced by the 200-yard game against Cincinnati.
"When we can get him into the next level, the second level, he can gain some yards for us, because he can break tackles. He’s got a burst. So he still has those things. What we have to do is, we have to work to get him to the second level a little bit more than we have been.”

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors.  More from Aaron Wilson

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