1. Motion Evans
With the impending loss of receiver Anquan Boldin, it’s time for offensive coordinator Cam Cameron to dust off Lee Evans and put him to work. The burner from Buffalo has yet to make a mark due to injury, but he has enough left in the gas tank to help the Ravens down the stretch.
Evans and the rest of the pass-catchers will have their work cut out for them against a Cleveland pass defense that has been unbreakable all year. Still, with the potential focus of corner Joe Hayden shifting to Torrey Smith, Evans should have a chance to make plays on the other side.
Evans should me moved around to create favorable matchups against the other Cleveland defensive backs. Although Evans isn’t an ideal slot receiver, he should also take some reps on the routes that Boldin ran, leaving Smith as the primary flanker.
2. Pass on first down
Against a Cleveland defense that is going to be geared up to stop Ray Rice, the play-action passing game sets up perfectly. Cameron has a strong tendency to run on first down and that move might backfire, especially if Cleveland commits hard to shoot the gaps.
On the other hand, establishing a passing rhythm on first down will help open up the rush attack as the game progresses. There should be more of a mix of run-to-pass ratio.
3. More passes to Rice on early downs
1. Five-man rush
No, this isn’t a typo. This is the same exact key from last week, and it’s intended to be here.
- Contain Wallace
While Colt McCoy is certainly among the more mobile quarterbacks in the league, Seneca Wallace is dangerous out of the pocket. He’s someone that can extend plays, even be a significant part of the running game.
The Browns will likely use more boot action with Wallace, and the lineman and backers need to be prepared. Wallace cannot be allowed to extend the Cleveland passing game.
One-on-One Matchup to Watch
Joe Thomas versus Terrell Suggs: The last time these teams squared off, Suggs was able to get the better of Thomas. Just like Suggs’ battles with Andrew Whitworth, his division tussles with Thomas are always worth watching. Thomas remains an elite left tackle. He is long, quick and nimble. Given the crowd noise, Suggs has an even better get-off at M&T Bank Stadium. He’ll need to come alive on Christmas Eve.