Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens say they feel rejuvenated with a coronavirus outbreak and a three-game losing streak in the rearview, but they still face high stakes as they enter Monday night’s game against the Cleveland Browns.A loss to their division rivals would deliver a significant blow to the Ravens’ playoff hopes. A win? Well, that’d put the team in ideal position to surge to a wildcard postseason berth.

Live Stream : Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

Here are the details for the game:

What: The Ravens (7-5) play at the Browns (9-3) in Week 14 of the 2020 NFL season

Where: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

When: Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. on Dec. 14, 2020

TV Channel: ESPN

TV announcers: Steve Levy (play-by-play), Brian Griese (analysis) and Louis Riddick (analysis)

Live stream: FuboTV

Baltimore Radio: WBAL (1090 AM) & 98Rock (97.9 FM)

Radio announcers: Gerry Sandusky (play by play) and Dennis Pitta (analysis)

Injury report: The Ravens listed five players as questionable and one as doubtful; the Browns listed two as out and one as questionable. More here.

Game time forecast: 34 degrees, cloudy, 0 percent chance of precipitation, 18 MPH winds

Live Stream : Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

Ravens 31, Browns 27: The Cowboys’ leaky defense allowed the Ravens’ rushing attack to get back on track. Could the banged-up Browns secondary do the same for the Ravens’ stagnant passing game? Cleveland ranks 22nd in the league in pass defense efficiency, per Football Outsiders, and will be without Pro Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward. With tight end Mark Andrews and receiver Willie Snead IV returning and Marquise Brown coming on strong lately, Lamar Jackson should be able to exploit a Browns defense relying on Andrew Sendejo and Karl Joseph, two of the league’s lowest-graded safeties.
Daniel Oyefusi, reporter

Ravens 25, Browns 20: Much has changed since the Ravens’ season-opening blowout of the Browns. Cleveland has finally started to take off under first-year coach Kevin Stefanski and is on the cusp of clinching its first playoff berth since 2002. On the other side, the Ravens are fighting for their playoff lives in a season they entered as Super Bowl favorites. The Ravens benefited from the return of a handful of players from the reserve/COVID-19 list against the Cowboys and should be at near full strength with Matthew Judon, Mark Andrews and Willie Snead IV coming back Monday night. The Browns have played better in the past month, but the Ravens are the more experienced team that typically thrives in December.
Mike Preston, columnist

Ravens 27, Browns 24: The Browns have improved since these teams faced each other in the season opener. The offensive line has gotten physical and the defensive line might be one of the best in the NFL. Cleveland’s offense is similar to the Ravens’ because both like to pound the ball, but I have more trust at this point in Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson than Cleveland signal-caller Baker Mayfield.

Live Stream : Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

Jonas Shaffer, reporter

Ravens 24, Browns 20: Ignore their records for a second. Is this Cleveland team really better than the Ravens’? For the season, the Browns have a negative point differential. Even before Week 13, they did barely enough to string together three wins. Cleveland’s best hope is to run all over the Ravens and have its depleted secondary not give the game away. If the Ravens can’t win in prime time, they’re not a playoff team.
Childs Walker, reporter

Ravens 27, Browns 23: Some fans seemed startled when the Ravens opened as a slight road favorite against the 9-3 Browns. But here’s a reality check: The Ravens have outscored opponents by 85 points while the Browns have been outscored by 15. That’s not the end of the story, but it suggests the teams’ respective records are misleading. Expect a tense battle here, with the Browns trying to show they’re for real and the Ravens fighting for their season. The Ravens’ turnover-hungry pass defense will make the final difference against Baker Mayfield.a


1. Baltimore Ravens must get off to a fast start:

Live Stream : Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens must get off to a fast start in this game. For all the talk about how the Ravens struggle to play from behind, the same can be said about Cleveland. They lost to the Ravens in the season opener 38-6. The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Browns 38-7, while the Las Vegas Raiders beat the Browns 16-6. In all three of the Browns’ losses, the game started badly for them and got out of hand.

The Browns are a ground and pound team with a great pass rush. They have the same issues when it comes to falling behind that have plagued Lamar Jackson‘s Ravens. Confidence is also a huge issue here. Look, the Ravens last Monday Night Football performance was a trainwreck against the Kansas City Chiefs. Sunday Night Football didn’t go too well either, as the Ravens fell to the New England Patriots.

The one thing you don’t want to see is the Ravens to tighten up in the big moment. The one signature of John Harbaugh’s losses has become a failure to adjust after a rocky start. The best way to win this game is to push that problem away immediately. A strong start can send a statement to the Browns. Starting the game on the right foot is however more about the psyche of the purple and black.

The Ravens also need to carry the momentum they gained against the Cowboys over to this week. Baltimore football got back to basics. Jackson did his thing and the run game rolled through their opponent. This game is crucial because winning out is almost a necessity at this point. If the Ravens need to go on that kind of a roll, successes must not evaporate between games.

Live Stream : Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Cleveland Browns have a better defensive front than the Baltimore Ravens have an offensive line. Jackson needs the offensive line to do as well as they can, but he should know that he has to account for some of the pass rushers. The Browns have plenty of pass rush. Myles Garrett is a potential Defensive Player of the Year. He has 10.5 sacks this season while Olivier Vernon has five. The Browns have one of the best defensive lines at getting to the quarterback.

It’s unrealistic to think that the offensive line won’t be problematic. You could convince me that Orlando Brown Jr. and Bradley Bozeman could hold down the left side. You would be harder pressed to make me believe that the rest of the offensive line will be rock solid. Jackson’s elusiveness and awareness are going to be of the most paramount importance on Monday night.

Jackson’s legs are always a potential difference-maker for the Ravens. They need to be on full display in this game. Jackson always wants to prove that he is a pocket passer. This however is a game that is good for Baltimore not to have a stationary mid-line passer. Maybe the offensive line will surprise us. We’ll see. The key is that if Jackson doesn’t have to improvise and do a little escape magic in this game it would be a complete surprise.

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