There is a big game coming up for the Cleveland Browns.
And good teams expect good performances from key players in big games.
But getting such a game from a backup or little-mentioned player will often make the difference.
This season was always going to come down to the back to back Ravens games, here we are #Browns
— Jeff-LJ-Lloyd (@Jeff_LJ_Lloyd) November 22, 2021
And this Sunday’s matchup with the Baltimore Ravens might require a few surprising players to step up.
Here are 3 other Browns players who could have a big game against the Ravens.
1. Rashard Higgins
Rashard Higgins was a key contributor in the Browns’ passing game after Odell Beckham Jr was hurt last year.
He hasn’t stepped up as well so far this time around, but Mayfield could be missing several targets in Week 12.
Anthony Schwartz is doubtful, Donovan Peoples-Jones a game-day decision, and Jarvis Landry questionable.
“I’m here because this is the best situation, this is the best position. This is where I want to be. — I got my quarterback — I’m just glad to be a Cleveland Brown.”#Browns WR Rashard Higgins on returning for another year. pic.twitter.com/zvEl6g4ZQW
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) March 26, 2021
Higgins’ knack for finding holes in zones and sneaking away from man coverage will need to be exploited.
Landry will probably be on the field to draw some attention from Higgins, and Demetric Felton could play a role.
But Baker Mayfield sounds ready to flashback to last year’s second half, and that bodes well for Higgins.
Watch for the Browns and Higgins to take advantage of Baltimore’s leaky secondary.
2. Kareem Hunt
Kareem Hunt brings a needed boost of energy to the Browns’ lethargic offense.
Baltimore boasts a solid run defense, but not as good as their #2 ranking makes them out to be.
Most teams feel the need to open things up against Lamar Jackson, eschewing the run early.
#Browns OC Alex Van Pelt said energy Kareem Hunt brings will be huge for us. AVP said Hunt has looked great this week, and RT Jack Conklin looks like he hasn’t missed a beat.
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) November 26, 2021
But Nick Chubb and Hunt change the dynamic for the Browns.
Despite Baltimore’s best efforts, Hunt racked up 190 yards and 2 touchdowns against them last year.
With Mayfield still mending, expect Stefanski to make good use of Hunt’s explosive style.
He could even end up with more total yards than Chubb.
3. Anthony Walker
Did you know Anthony Walker had 16 tackles in the Cincinnati game?
It was the quietest 16 tackles of the year, and that is okay with Walker.
Cleveland will rely on their front four to pressure Lamar Jackson while holding contain.
#Browns Anthony Walker: "We all need to be better, we all need to come in locked in everyday and understand we're in the playoffs now—if you want to be a playoff team your playoffs just started earlier…we've got to play every game like it's a playoff game."
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) November 15, 2021
Walker will monitor the running backs and the Ravens’ running QB.
Expect JOK and Troy Hill to get in on the action, probably with more dynamic plays.
Joe Woods might even blitz his safeties or outside corners.
But Anthony Walker will probably lead the team in tackles and tackles for a loss