Week 14 Preview: Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Brownsby Ethan Hewette December 14, 2020 0 comments
The Baltimore Ravens (7-5) travel to Ohio to take on the Cleveland Browns (9-3) for the Week 14 edition of Monday Night Football. After dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, the Ravens were able to regain their momentum and secured a win last week against the Dallas Cowboys. Cleveland has been red hot coming into this game off a four-game win streak, including a dominant performance last week against the Tennessee Titans.
The Browns have had an electric offense these past four weeks behind the legs of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Chubb has totaled 464 rushing yards and averaged a dominant 6.1 yards per carry since his Week 10 return after dealing with an MCL sprain. Hunt has also totaled 739 rushing yards this season and is averaging a solid 4.3 yards per carry. Now combine this with Baker Mayfield’s first-half performance last week, featuring 334 passing yards and four touchdowns, you have yourself a great offense. Jarvis Landry has been Mayfield’s favorite target leading the team in receiving yards with 676. Say what you want about their schedule, but mediocre teams don’t go 9-3 very often, and head coach Kevin Stefanski has found the identity of his offense.
Just as the Browns love to run the football, the Ravens love to do it even more. This game features the top-2 run offenses in the NFL. Behind a handful of running backs, Baltimore and Lamar Jackson have averaged 169 rushing yards this season. Cleveland’s top-10 run defense will be in for another challenge this week after shutting down Derrick Henry last week. Running backs Mark Ingram, J.K. Dobbins, and Gus Edwards will look to give their team an advantage. But they will have to do so behind a depleted offensive line. However, where Baltimore could gain an advantage is in the passing game. The Browns have struggled to slow down opposing passing offenses and rank 29th in passing touchdowns allowed. Jackson will have to be more consistent in the passing game and stay in sync with wideout Marquise Brown.
Cleveland will be without cornerback Denzel Ward once again this week. Even further, the offense could potentially be without tight end Austin Hooper as well. However, Cleveland will get after Jackson in the passing game behind Myles Garrett, who has 10.5 sacks this season, and a defensive line that has totaled 24.5 sacks this season. For Baltimore, Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters will need to play lockdown coverage to slow down Mayfield and allow their front seven to stuff the run game.
Date: December 14th, 2020
Start time: 8:15 P.M. EST
Location: Cleveland, OH
Stadium: FirstEnergy Stadium
TV Info: ESPN
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Point Spread: BAL -3.5 (-110) | CLE +3.5 (-110)
Moneyline: BAL -180 | CLE +145
Over/Under: O 45.5 (-110)｜U 45.5 (-110)
The final score from 13 weeks ago between these two teams, typical of an NFL season, is irrelevant. Both these teams have gone through transformations this season, and right now, Cleveland looks like a better all-around team. Even if Baltimore can pull off a win this week, the likely hood that they can win by more than a field goal isn’t likely. Cleveland grabs their first win against the spread this season against a divisional opponent.
The Moneyline in this one clearly shows how close this game could be with Baltimore at just -180. However, the over/under this week is intriguing. It seems relatively low, considering these two teams put up a combined 75 points last week. While they are facing better defenses, both offenses should muster at least 20 points in this one.
Cleveland comes out of the gates firing once again this week and puts up 14 points in the first quarter behind a pair of Mayfield touchdown passes. However, Baltimore evens the game up and takes a field goal lead heading into halftime.
Throughout the second half, it’s an exchanging of scoring drives. That is until the Browns make a couple of clutch defensive stops late, and Chubb runs out the clock to give the Browns their 10th win of the season.
Final Score: Baltimore 23, Cleveland 28