TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 9: Baltimore Ravens At Cleveland Browns

Baltimore
Cleveland
Baltimore Ravens v Houston Texans
San Diego Chargers v Cleveland Browns
Quarterbacks
Winner Joe Flacco is on the cusp of ranking with the best quarterbacks in the game. He has shown he can make every throw required to be a great signal-caller and he also has the requisite athletic ability to get away from pressure. However, Flacco must prove his consistency. He can usually rise to the occasion against top-level opponents, but he may not always be inspired against beatable foes.
The Browns know that Brandon Weeden is a work in progress. He is going to have a few excellent moments, but he will struggle most of the time. That’s what happened in Week Eight against the Chargers, but he did not throw an interception while completing 11-of-27 passes for 129 yards. Weeden learns something knew each game.
Offense
Winner The Ravens have the ability to dominate any game with an explosive offense. Ray Rice is probably the best all-around back in the game because he excels as a runner and a receiver and he can also hold his own as a blocker. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin can make the tough catches to keep drives alive while Torrey Smith is a pretty good deep weapon.
The Browns are best when they feature rookie running back Trent Richardson. He was the dominant player in the Week Eight win over the Chargers because he ran for 122 yards and scored the lone touchdown on a sharp 26-yard TD run. Wide receiver Josh Gordon is rapidly becoming the Browns’ most dangerous wide receiver. Ben Watson can still be a decent contributor from the tight end position.
Defense
Winner The Ravens are going to try to compete without linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb for the rest of the season. It won’t be easy, even though pass rushing specialist Terrell Suggs has returned to the lineup. The Ravens have struggled on the defensive end much of the season and it doesn’t figure to get much better any time soon.
Winner The Browns have been playing much-improved pass defense over the last two weeks. They have allowed 340 passing yards the last two games and this team uses tight coverage to shut down opposing receivers. Middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson has become one of the most underrated players in the league. He had a massive 14 tackles against the Chargers.
Special Teams
The Ravens are much happier with their field goal kicking than they have been in the past. Justin Tucker has made 14-of-15 field goal attempts this season, including 4-of-4 from 50 yards and beyond. Sam Koch is averaging 47.2 yards per punt.
Winner The Browns are always confident that they can win the game if it comes down to a Phil Dawson field goal because he has a big leg and projects confidence. Return man Josh Cribbs has the kind of speed to exploit ordinary special teams play.

The Winner Is

Baltimore Ravens v Houston Texans
Winner Baltimore
3 out of 4

The Browns should feel pretty good about themselves because they are playing hard and starting to pick up victories. While they don’t compare to the Ravens in offensive talent, the Browns don’t give in or give up. They are a solid team on defense and confidence should be high after beating San Diego. The Ravens need a solid effort to show they can play without their injured defensive stars.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants breaks a tackle by Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins in the second half at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against Everson Griffen #97 and Tom Johnson #92 of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st half during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Minnesota Vikings

    The Vikings defense has annihilated every opponent so far. Can they do it to the explosive Giants offense this week?

  2. KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Center Mitch Morse #61 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball to Alex Smith #11 at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against  Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Chiefs and Steelers battle it out in a match-up of AFC playoff contenders.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At San Francisco 49ers

    The Cowboys have been rolling with rookie QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. They look to continue that momentum this week.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Baltimore

Track Weather On The Go With Our App!
Your Podcast Network Play.it
CBS All Access

Listen Live