TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 4: Cleveland Browns At Baltimore Ravens

Browns
Ravens
Cleveland Browns v Green Bay Packers
AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots
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 this year and he is off to a solid start. Sam Koch gets good height and solid placement on his punts.

The Winner Is

AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots
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. 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)
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  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)
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  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)
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