The 2020 NFL season has begun and the Cleveland Browns kick off their first game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1.
Cleveland was surprisingly able to split the series with the Ravens last season.
They took the first game in late September, but Baltimore was able to pull it out during their second meeting.
At least the Browns were one of two teams to actually beat the Ravens during the 2019 regular season.
The Browns obviously want to take care of the Ravens here and start the season on a winning note.
However, there are some concerns heading into their Week 1 matchup.
3. Browns Banged Up Secondary
The injury bug decided to take out the Browns secondary during training camp.
Cleveland lost second-round selection safety Grant Delpit for the entire 2020 campaign.
Former second-round pick defensive back Greedy Williams suffered a shoulder injury as well.
Grant Delpit isn’t the only Browns DB to get hurt at practice. CB Greedy Williams injured his shoulder. Asked if Williams will miss a significant amount of time with the shoulder injury, Browns’ HC Kevin Stefanski said: “I would say we will see. Still evaluating.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 25, 2020
Williams has not stepped up on the field since suffering that injury three weeks ago.
The chances of him suiting up for Week 1 are very slim.
Terrance Mitchell is expected to start for Williams during Sunday’s contest.
Mitchell started four games for the Browns last season, but was fairly mediocre throughout the year.
Last season, quarterback Lamar Jackson threw for five total touchdowns during their two meetings.
The Browns banged up secondary could lead to issues slowing down the Ravens passing attack.
2. Ravens Rushing Attack
Cleveland struggled to contain the Ravens running game last season.
During their second meeting, Jackson rushed for 103 yards by himself.
Both Gus Edwards and Mark Ingram had over 50 rushing yards each in that contest as well.
The Browns had no answers for the Ravens rushing attack.
That very well could be the case again, especially with the lack of talent at the linebacker spot.
The front-four in Cleveland will need to step up and help slow down the Ravens running game.
Baltimore added rookie running back J.K. Dobbins who will likely see some action on Sunday.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Browns defense does against Dobbins since they haven’t seen him before.
1. Lamar Jackson
The reigning MVP deserves a category of his own.
Slowing down Jackson is going to be the biggest concern for Cleveland on Sunday.
He’s a dual-threat quarterback that can do just about anything on the field.
Jackson carved up the Browns defense for 238 passing yards, 103 rushing yards, and three passing touchdowns during their second meeting last season.
Holding Jackson in check will be the key to success for the Browns in Week 1.
It will be tough for Cleveland to win if they aren’t able to contain Jackson.
He has the ability to take over a game just by himself.
The Browns defense is already weaker because of injuries, so we’ll see if they can step up to the challenge.