Sunday will see the second game of the year for the Cleveland Browns against the Baltimore Ravens.
This game is different for Browns fans, for a few reasons.
While not holding the longevity of the Steelers rivalry, this is still up there.
Old Browns vs. New Browns.
The fact the Ravens have won two super bowls since their formation sticks in the craws of Browns fans everywhere.
So there is a certain level of animosity when it comes to these games, and maybe even more so this season.
With the Browns sitting at 9-3, they’re in the thick of the AFC playoff picture.
The Ravens at 7-5 still have a shot, but a Browns victory would make it even more difficult for the Ravens to make it into the playoffs, which would suit Browns fans just fine.
While the Browns are on a roll and only picking up steam, the Ravens have struggled, going 2-3 over their last five games.
While the Browns dropped the first game against Baltimore, 38-6 in Week 1, this is a WHOLE other Browns team, and I honestly think they’ll win.
With that said, let’s take a look at two Ravens that could make life harder for the Browns this weekend.
1. J.K. Dobbins
This one actually hurts.
One of my favorite Buckeyes of recent years, it stings to see J.K. Dobbins in a Ravens uniform.
Taken in the second round of the draft prior to the season, Dobbins found himself splitting carries with Mark Ingram II and Gus Edwards.
Injuries and quality of play, however, have allowed Dobbins to become the go-to back in the RB rotation for Baltimore.
While he has only garnered 451 rushing yards and 4 TDs on the season, he’s really picked up his game recently.
Over the last five games, he has rushed for 297 yards and 2 TDs, including a 113 yard effort against the Steelers, which included this run.
J.K. Dobbins vs. PIT — 113 yards rushing (on 15 carries).
Play speed. Inside power. Lateral jump-cut ability (see below). Easy scheme fit in the BAL run game.
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) November 2, 2020
The Browns have played well against the run during the 2020 season, considering the issues the defense has had at times.
Ranked 8th against the run, the Browns played great last week, limiting Derrick Henry to 60 yards on 15 carries.
So why worry about Dobbins?
While they do have a good run defense, the Browns can be torched on the ground.
Josh Jacobs ran for 129 yards against the Browns, but it also allowed the Raiders to keep the Cleveland offense off the field.
Dobbins has the ability to do that.
RBs With The Most Rushing Yards Per Carry Through Week 13:
1️⃣ Nick Chubb: 6.0
2️⃣ J.K. Dobbins: 5.4
3️⃣ Miles Sanders: 5.3
4️⃣ Aaron Jones: 5.2 pic.twitter.com/hcDsLJqOPY
— Hogg (@HoggNFL) December 10, 2020
2. Lamar Jackson
He hasn’t produced the same way he did last season.
But Lamar Jackson is STILL the reigning NFL MVP.
Because he does things like this.
Remember when @PAOnTheMic said Kyler Murray was better than Lamar Jackson….and lots of you agreed with him. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
Show the reigning MVP a little respect. https://t.co/BDvQdMiJUd
— Matt Birk (@BirkMatt) December 10, 2020
So far this season, he’s passed for 2,055 yards and 17 TDs with 7 INTs.
He’s also leading the Ravens in rushing with 669 yards and 4 TDs.
So while he hasn’t had the best of seasons, he is still a factor that has to be accounted for on Sunday.
We all know that the Browns have had issues defending the pass, so this could be a game where Jackson could find himself producing better than he has the last few weeks.
He played well in their first meeting of the season, throwing for 275 yards and 3 TDs to go along with 45 yards on the ground.
These two players could give the Browns fits, but I trust Joe Woods and Co. to be prepared.
You can watch the Browns and Ravens play Monday night in Cleveland at FirstEnergy Stadium, with kickoff set for 8:15 p.m.