Kevin Stefanski and the Cleveland Browns are happy to have Deshaun Watson back.
After all, games like the one this Sunday against the first-place Ravens are why they pay him the big bucks.
And Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson guided his team to 37 points against the Seahawks last week.
But if either quarterback expects a big day, they might want to talk to Browns cornerback Martin Emerson.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) November 9, 2023
Emerson told Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot to expect a defensive battle come Sunday.
“It’s going to be a battle of two great defenses, and may the best defense win,” he said.
And he could be right as Baltimore and Cleveland sit among the top 5 in most defensive categories.
The teams allow the fewest average yards per play at 4.1 (Ravens) and 4.3 (Browns) through Week 9.
But while they also rank 1-2 against the pass, both teams slip against the run.
Cleveland ranks 9th in yards-per-carry allowed while Baltimore comes in at number 16.
Both offenses prefer the run, with the Ravens averaging a league-best 160 yards per game.
And the Browns boast the third-most yards per game at 144.
Jim Schwartz’s defense is the best in the NFL at stopping plays for a loss or no gain.
But in between those soul-crushing plays, Cleveland gives up too many big runs to their opponents.
Baltimore running back Keaton Mitchell introduced himself to the NFL last week with 2 long runs and a touchdown.
But any one of Cleveland’s trio of rushers can break a big play as well.
And in a matchup of highly paid quarterbacks, Emerson knows this game goes to the best defense.