TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 4: Cleveland Browns At Baltimore Ravens

Browns
Ravens
Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals
Baltimore Ravens v Miami Dolphins
Quarterback
The Browns are fooling themselves if they think they are going to compete with the elite teams in the league. Brandon Weeden plays with effort and appears to be getting better, but he is a long way from being an effective quarterback.
Winner Joe Flacco has arrived as an elite player in the NFL. He has size and arm strength, and that allows him to hit the big play at any time. Flacco has developed excellent timing and touch and has the ability to rise to the moment.
Offense
The Browns thought they hit it big when they drafted Trent Richardson and he appears well on his way to becoming a star. However, the Browns just don’t have the strength at the wide receiver position to sustain a solid offensive attack.
Winner The Ravens have made a transformation from defensive juggernaut with an ordinary offense to an explosive offensive team. Running back Ray Rice is an explosive runner who takes the pressure off of Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith. The key to Baltimore’s consistency is the solid offensive line.
Defense
When the Browns are able to make a game of it, it’s largely due to their aggressive defense. While the Browns are not going to shut down an explosive team like the Ravens, they are tenacious and athletic. Linebacker Craig Robertson is coming off an 8-tackle effort while safety T.J. Ward is a big hitter.
Winner The Ravens still play one of the hardest hitting and most aggressive brands of defense in the league. While they are not forced to shut down opponents to win games any more, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed continue to make big plays when the game is on the line.
Special Teams
Winner The Browns are dependent on their special-teams play and Phil Dawson has been one of the most consistent placekickers in the business. Return specialist Joshua Cribbs is capable of busting a big punt or kickoff return to change the momentum in the game.
The Ravens are depending on placekicker Justin Tucker to hit the big kicks thisyear and he is off to a solid start. Sam Koch gets good height and solid placement on his punts

The Winner Is

Baltimore Ravens v Miami Dolphins
Winner Ravens
3 out of 4

The Ravens started the season with games against the Bengals, Eagles and Patriots, so they can’t afford to overlook the Browns. A solid effort by the Ravens should be enough to keep the Browns at bay. As long as the Ravens don’t lose the turnover battle by more than two, they should come away with the win.

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  1. BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Tight end Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammate quarterback Joe Flacco #5 after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to throw a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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  2. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott #21in the first half of the game agains the Minnesota Vikings on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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  3. SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during warmups before a game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field on December 4, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 04:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is pressured by Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans during the first half of a game at Lambeau Field on December 4, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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