Gilbert: This is a huge game early on in this season. It could be a really nice launchpad for this team if they can get this win. It would put the team in a great position in the division race. The key to a Browns victory will be establishing Nick Chubb and running the offense through him. Then, they should use play action for Baker Mayfield to attack the defense. On defense, the biggest key is to make Lamar Jackson beat you with his arm and keep him in the pocket. I think the Browns step up and win this one.
Gerbs: With three starters in the secondary inactive, this game might be a bit of a shootout. Defensive tackle Brandon Williams being out is big for Cleveland, it should give Nick Chubb a big boost. Baltimore has allowed only one team to get more than 30 rushing yards so far this season, partly from being great against the run, and also in part that all of their games have been offensive outbursts, causing opponents to have to throw to catch up. If Cleveland can establish a run game and use the hurry up to attack a possibly vulnerable Ravens defense, they can pull out a win.
Poloha: Such a big game. Lose and you’re not only 1-3, but once again facing plenty of questions; Win and it’s not only a big W, especially in Baltimore, but you’re tied atop the AFC North. Let’s do this.
Gilbert: Not a great start for the offense. A batted ball and a sack. Not ideal to lead off the game with a three-and-out.
Gerbs: A batted first pass, a four-yard rush to Chubb and a sack is not what Cleveland and head coach Freddie Kitchens wanted when they took the ball to start the game.
Gerbs: Big sack by Olivier Vernon on second down to force a third-and-long. First sack for Vernon on the season and in the orange and brown.
Gilbert: Olivier Vernon with a huge sack. If the Browns can get the Ravens in long third-down situations, they will be successful today. Make Lamar beat you with his arm.
Gerbs: Baker looks much more settled in this game. Third-and-seven and Mayfield stays in the pocket rather than rolling out and forcing something downfield, finds Damion Ratley to extend the drive and gets the first down.
Gilbert: Agree with Gerbs. Mayfield early on here looks more comfortable to stay in the pocket and not try to escape out of the pocket. We need this to continue.
Gerbs: Another penalty makes it third-and-13 and another example of Mayfield staying in the pocket to find Odell Beckham Jr open but dropped the pass. A defensive penalty makes it a first down regardless and keep this good Browns drive going.
Gerbs: FEED. THE. CHUBB. A screen pass and a long drive for the running back are what the Browns need to do.
Heavy Chubb. I like the play calling.
— T.D. Dery (@TD1TribeKU) September 29, 2019
Gilbert: The Browns offense looks better so far. Using Chubb a lot so far. Just need to limit the penalties that are pushing them back. Mayfield looks strong in the pocket. The Browns offensive line also is winning the line of scrimmage for the most part here early.
Gerbs: This is the best drive by Cleveland (if you take away the penalties) of the year. This is the perfect game plan: keep long drives going to keep the ball out of the hands of an explosive Ravens offense.
Gerbs: TOUCHDOWN BROWNS!! Ricky Seals-Jones out here making stuff happen for Cleveland.
Poloha: Couldn’t have asked for a better drive from the Browns. An 11-play, 83-yard drive that not only took 8:31 off the clock but ended with a touchdown. Baker completed 7-of-8 passes while using six different receivers as well. Couldn’t have asked for a better drive than that.
Gilbert: What an excellent touchdown drive by the Browns to kick the scoring off. Mayfield showed the pocket movement that we saw last season and in college. He moved within the pocket to make more time but did not leak out as we saw in the first few weeks. He stayed in the pocket to keep all of his passing options open. Great drive to hopefully ignite the offense.
That’s a freaking drive right there. Overcoming a 1st and 25 and capping it w a TD. Huge.
— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) September 29, 2019
Suek: Now THAT’S the offense we’ve been waiting to see. Mayfield showed great pocket presence by stepping up in the pocket when facing pressure instead of fading back and to the right. Play designs that got the ball out of Mayfield’s hand quickly and featured
Chubb on the ground. Great touchdown drive across the board.
Gerbs: Welcome back Damarious Randall! A long “coverage sack” by Randall puts them at fourth and long. Jackson avoided the rush at first but Randall was tenacious and kept attacking until Jackson was wrapped up and down.
Gilbert: Welcome back Damarious Randall! He makes a huge sack to stop the Ravens progressing drive that could have been an answer to the Browns scoring drive. Randall missed Lamar Jackson initially, which is not uncommon to most defenders trying to sack Jackson, but Randall stayed with it and came back to take the quarterback down to stall the Ravens drive.
Poloha: Great first quarter, leading 7-0. The defense looked good again even without both Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams, just like last week. That touchdown drive by the Browns to give them the early lead was by far the best drive of the season (the first drive of the season is a close, but given the length and time of that scoring drive this week, this one wins). It’s important to keep the momentum going now.
Gerbs: A decent drive after the stop highlighted by some odd choices: a failed backfield crossing pattern and OBJ and Chubb almost fumbled a handoff and a wideout screen to Dontrelle Hilliard on third-and-thirteen that got seven but not enough for the first. You have to be excited a little that Kitchens is bringing back some of the innovation we saw last year.
Suek: Not a lot of running room on that drive for Chubb, but you have to love seeing more of the misdirection and innovation that we saw from Kitchens in 2018. Need another big stop by the defense on this possession in order to maintain the momentum.
Gerbs: A giant pass rush by Cleveland did not get home and CJ Moore got loose for a 27-yard attempt but came down out of bounds. Very lucky for Cleveland as some sort of miscommunication must have happened.
Gilbert: Boy, did the Browns get lucky on the receiver stepping out of bounds on that blown coverage. That is another reason I have doubts about Lamar Jackson still. His accuracy is not great. He had the receiver wide open and he led him out of bounds with the pass. Another stop for the defense, though.
Suek: Huge break for the Browns after the blown coverage by the secondary (seemingly T.J. Carrie).
Poloha: Loved the trick play called by Freddie with the double reverse that almost led to a completed pass from OBJ to Damion Ratley. Ratley has to catch that at the two-yard line, but the fact that Odell made throwing a ball 60 yards look so easy is incredible, especially for a wide receiver. I think we’ll see in the All-22 that he could have ran with the ball after getting away from the sack, but then again, Ratley should have caught the pass as well.
Gerbs: We are approaching “Uh oh Happy learned how to punt” territory on how well this Browns offense has looked and the detractors all week.
Gerbs: My bad y’all. I jinxed it.
Gilbert: Mayfield makes his first mistake of the game. The slant to Landry simply was not there. You would also like Landry to at least attempt to go for the ball and make the INT hard to make. But, Mayfield should not have made the pass. Just not a good play all around. Crushing end to a promising drive.
Suek: The Ravens take over with great field position after the interception by Mayfield on the RPO. At first glance, it looks like Landry stopped short on the slant route in order to avoid contact. Regardless, the ball should not have been thrown.
Gilbert: That was a huge swing on that interception. The Browns were threatening to go up two scores, but the interception turns into a tie game. Let’s see if we get a two-minute drive here for the Browns offense.
Gerbs: What a run by Juice! A great job by Baker to move the safety with his eyes and then a hit a crossing route to Jarvis Landry. A 65-yard completion just might have swapped back momentum.
Gilbert: Jarvis Landry makes the biggest play of the game to get the Browns in great scoring position. Cleveland needs to punch it in for seven points before the half.
Suek: Juicccce!!!!! Incredible effort by the veteran WR sets the Browns up in prime position to take the lead heading into halftime. Time to score another touchdown and for the scoreboard to reflect the first-half performance of this team.
Poloha: Heck yeah, Jarvis! The Browns getting points to answer Baltimore’s touchdown would be huge heading into the half, especially with the Ravens getting the ball to start the third quarter.
Suek: The red zone is becoming an issue with this offense. With that said, the Browns take a 10-7 lead into halftime.
Gilbert: Man, I wanted that touchdown, but I will take the field goal. Good response drive by the offense.
Poloha: The Baker Mayfield-led offense was so good in the red zone the second half of last season. Not sure what happened in 2019. OBJ needs to get more attention in the red zone, both in terms of playcalling and by Baker. I’ll take a 10-7 lead at halftime, but a touchdown right before the half (instead of a field goal) would have been huge.
Gilbert: I think the Browns played really well in the first half. The turnover made this game closer than it should be, but I have positive feelings going into half. I think it is key for the defense to get a quick stop in the opening drive of the second half, so the Browns can get the field position to extend the lead. The Browns do not need to change much on either side, besides limiting the mistakes on offense.
Gerbs: A dominant performance by the Browns in the first half is not reflected by the score. Time of possession, passing yards, first downs all elements of a housing by Cleveland but an inability to get in the endzone at the end of the half dims a really good performance overall by Cleveland thus far. No red zone looks for OBJ though is a bad look.
Poloha: A solid first half on both sides of the ball. Browns just need to learn to be able to finish drives, especially in the red zone. The defense continues to play very well just like they did last week against the Rams. The fact that they are without Denzel Ward, Greedy Williams, and Christian Kirksey and playing so well is impressive. Let’s continue that in the second half, Brownies.
Odell Beckham Jr. had more attempted passes (1) than receptions (0) in the first half and yet the Browns hold a 10-7 lead. I'll take it.
— Josh Poloha (@JorshP) September 29, 2019
#Browns Some key first-half stats:
• WR Jarvis Landry- 6 receptions for 126 yards
• WR OBJ- 0 receptions on 3 targets
• LB J. Schobert- 7 tackles w/ 1 assist
• Defense allowed only 34 passing yards for L. Jackson
Scoreboard does not reflect the dominant performance.
— Cody Suek (@WFNYCody) September 29, 2019
Gerbs: Browns able to force a field goal on that drive is big. With the Ravens getting the ball to start the second half, it was a chance for them to seize the momentum. Good job by the Steve Wilks coordinated defense to get off the field.
Poloha: The Browns holding the Ravens to a field goal to start the second half is decent. This is a huge drive for Cleveland now. It’s time to gain the lead back with a long sustained drive.
Gilbert: I would have loved a quick stop, but at least the Browns held the Ravens to just three points. Lamar Jackson is a freak in eluding the pressure and that fact single-handedly earned the Ravens three points on that opening drive.
Gerbs: Ricky. Seals. Jones. Blown coverage by Baltimore, the safety came to double cover OBJ and Seals-Jones gets 59 yards and the Browns are in the redzone.
Poloha: OBJ making his presence known even when he’s not catching the ball. Both defensive backs went with Odell, allowing Ricky Seals-Jones to get wide open for a 59-yard reception.
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) September 29, 2019
Gerbs: CHUBBERS!!! Big-time run breaking no less than three tackles to get in the endzone. Response. Points.
Gilbert: That’s called an answer! Big plays give the Browns the lead again!
Poloha: What. An. Answer. Browns make it look easy with a three-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to take the lead right back that was finished off by a Nick Chubb 14-yard touchdown run. Let’s go.
Gerbs: I am interested in digging into personnel usage later this week. The Browns MO has been 11 personnel (3WR, 1RB, 1TE) this year, but it feels like they have used 12 (2WR, 1RB, 2TE) more today.
Gerbs: FUMBLE! Jerome Whitehead gets a shoulder pad on the ball and got it out of the hands of Mark Ingram II for Baltimore’s first giveaway all year.
Poloha: The defense gets the ball right back, forcing Mark Ingram to fumble it on a hard hit. That’s the Ravens’ first turnover of the season. This is fun, you guys!
Gilbert: The Browns defense needed that turnover in a big way. They were getting gashed by the run and the Ravens running downhill. Answer with a touchdown and the Browns are in business.
Gerbs: Well that’s not what you wanna see. A big gain on first-and-20 by Hilliard washed away by two sets of unnecessary roughness on both sides. Frustrations of OBJ not recording a catch on the day boiling over.
Gerbs: Juiiiice! Jarvis over 160 yards on the day after a shovel pass on RPO by Mayfield. Down at the two and Chubb punches in it for his second touchdown of the day. Just an incredible drive by Cleveland.
Poloha: Creative Freddie is my favorite Freddie. I missed him so far this season but glad he has returned today. The double reverse in the first half and this type of play in the second half? Love it.
Suek: On a second watch of the Landry shovel pass reception, it looks like the play design includes an option toss from Landry to Chubb. Beautiful drive and play. Bonus: Buying a Ricky Seals-Jones jersey in 3-2-1…
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 29, 2019
Gilbert: That was an exceptional drive by the Browns and especially Freddie Kitchens. We saw his 2018 play calling again. We saw the handoff to Jarvis Landry that was so productive last season. We saw the offense running the ball with great success. We saw Mayfield spreading the ball around. This offense is rolling and I love it.
Poloha: Nick Chubb, again! Make that two touchdowns for the running back to give the Browns a 14-point lead.
Gerbs: What a crazy play right there: first-and-10, Vernon is on the back of Jackson and he shovels it forward to the running back for five yards. Should have been a sack, another example of how dangerous Jackson is.
Gilbert: The Browns could have had a great stop holding the Ravens to a field goal, but a blown coverage gives Baltimore an easy touchdown. The Browns defense has struggled in the second half, but were saved by the fumble. The offense needs a big response, especially with the Ravens making the two-point conversion. Cleveland needs to get the momentum back.
Gerbs: Continued issues covering the middle of the field is an issue. You’d think with good coverage linebackers in Joe Schobert and Mack Wilson they would be better covering tight ends. Alas, Baltimore gets a touchdown to Mark Andrews in the back of the endzone.
Suek: And just like that it’s a one-possession game. Do not sleep on this Ravens team, as we saw last week vs the Chiefs. Side note: Whitehead was absolutely gassed on that possession.
Gerbs: If Cleveland can get a long sustained drive that ends in points, that touchdown doesn’t matter.
Poloha: Ravens score *and* convert the two-point conversion to make it a six-point game with just under 10 minutes left. It’s time for OBJ to step up. With no catches on the day, he will likely be counted on big time to make plays this drive with Jarvis Landry being evaluated or a concussion.
Gerbs: FORGET LONG SUSTAINED DRIVES GIVE ME NICK CHUBB ALL DAMN DAY!
Suek: The Chubbernaut!!!!!!!
Gilbert: Well that’s how you respond! NICHOLAS CHUBB!
Gerbs: That run by Chubb was so good I don’t even care that they decided to go for two there for no reason.
Poloha: What an answer (again), to make it a two-possession game and immediately answer the Ravens’ touchdown and two-point conversion that previously cut the lead to six. Nick Chubb with that breakaway speed for an easy 88-yard touchdown. Also, what was Baltimore’s safety (No. 23) doing? I’ll take it though.
Nick Chubb’s breakaway speed was incredible on that 88-yard touchdown, but what in the hell was the safety (No. 23) doing? pic.twitter.com/X6NXmykAuU
— Josh Poloha (@JorshP) September 29, 2019
Gilbert: Hell yeah! Thanks for going for that Baltimore. I think Jim Harbaugh switched places with John after that play-calling and decision making on the third and fourth downs.
Suek: It’s time. Time for the Browns to put them away and show who the new King of the North is.
— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) September 29, 2019
Suek: Huge FG by Austin Siebert. Also, Ratley has had quite a rough outing today. Need Higgins to be healthy soon and for Landry to avoid any missed time (currently in concussion protocol).
Gerbs: PICK! Whitehead responsible for both turnovers by Baltimore today. The depth of this secondary has kept Cleveland in the last two games.
Gilbert: What a freakin play by Whitehead. He saved Schobert there. That’s what you want your safety to do.
Poloha: What an interception by Jermaine Whitehead!
Poloha: Devaroe Lawrence! The big man showing some athleticism with that pick.
Poloha: Man, that was fun. What a difference a week makes. Hanging 40 points on the Ravens at their place? Glorious. Amazing what happens when the Lamar Jackson-led Baltimore offense has to go against a legitimate defense and not the Cardinals or Dolphins. Cleveland’s offense looked good, the defense looked great, Austin Seibert was once again perfect. The Browns are back in first place and with the Big Ben out and the Bengals being the Bengals, just beat a team they will compete for the division crown with this season at their place. I enjoy all of this. What a game.
Gilbert: Your first place Cleveland Browns. What a great performance by the entire Browns team. They outplayed Baltimore in every facet of the game. The offense finally returned to the 2018 version where we saw innovative playcalling and great rhythm throughout. Mayfield spread the ball around and looked a lot better and more confident inside the pocket. They used Nick Chubb as the centerpiece of the offense and he performed like the best player on the offense. The defense was excellent again even when they were short-handed in the secondary. They came up with big turnovers when the Ravens looked like they were starting to get it going. This is the team I believed we had going into the year. What a win!
Suek: I would like to formally welcome Freddie Kitchens to the 2019 NFL season. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it’s like he was saving the offense for this week. Am I right, or am I right? First 2-0 road start since 1994. Great team win. Take this momentum and run with it.