Dearest Browns fans,
Consider yourselves lucky.
You’re lucky your beloved Browns faced the Ravens in Week 1, while the six (count it 1-2-3-4-5-6) rookies who made various contributions on all sides of the ball were still getting their feet wet. Sure, Devin Duvernay had with a beautiful reception on a screen pass, with a great kick return game as well. Yes, Patrick Queen stripped the ball from your stout running back, Nick Chubb. And naturally, rookie running back J.K. Dobbins scored not once, but twice. Lest we forget, rookie RG Tyre Phillips filled in admirably for future Hall of Famer Marshal Yanda…oh, and some serious contributions from James Proche in the punt return game, along with Malik Harrison and Broderick Washington on defense.
Now, can you even imagine how that will look once they’re up to speed? You’ve got another stout pass-catching running back to account for in Dobbins, another speedy weapon in Duv, the heir to the Yanda throne in Big Country, a pair of terrors in the middle of that defense with Queen and Harrison, and a monster in the middle of the line in Washington.
And if that’s not bad enough?
You haven’t even seen Justin Madubuike yet.
You’re lucky the Ravens didn’t get a proper chance to game plan for your new head coach Kevin Stefanski, and that they had to piece things together using: Stefanski’s offense from his Minnesota days…plus the Browns personnel and what they’re accustomed to… a little bit of Austin Hooper tape from Atlanta… and some Joe Woods defensive tape over the years.
The Ravens basically came into this guessing what to expect on both sides of the ball, and did an admirable job.
They knew exactly what to expect from this Ravens team returning the vast majority of their starters… and could do nothing to stop it. If Browns fans thought just one red zone possession and one score was bad enough for Baker & the boys, just wait until Baltimore has 13 weeks of tape to pick apart before Round 2…
You’re lucky there were no fans at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens home field advantage was removed, due to this pandemic and fans not being permitted in the stadium. As a football team (I use that term loosely) you should be ecstatic for that aspect of the 2020 NFL season: there’s no more home field advantage going against you! You will never be road warriors; everything is really just a neutral site!
And yet, you couldn’t capitalize.
Could you even imagine tens of thousands of screaming Ravens fans flooding the stadium yesterday? Raucous chants of ‘M-V-P! M-V-P!’ every time Lamar threw a touchdown pass against your defense? Or the deafening roar swirling around the stadium on every Browns 3rd down attempt?
Those three whopping third down conversions would’ve likely been just one. Yanno, the one you got via penalty.
You’re lucky the Ravens didn’t truly step on the Browns’ throats further. They pulled Lamar Jackson and a handful of offensive starters in the game’s final drive to kill clock and go home, and even prior to that they went run heavy to have the same effect, despite throwing all over the Browns all day.
Had the Ravens kept their foot on the throttle? Even if it resulted in just one more field goal?
Jackson’s first two season openers (2019 at Miami, 2020 vs. Cleveland) would’ve combined for 100 points scored on offense. You could’ve further cemented the lowly Browns in the history books.
One more for the road you say?
We’ll see you in Week 14 in Cleveland, Browns fans. Don’t forget to throw some paper bags over your cardboard fans’ heads.
The Ravens Flock