Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens bold predictions: Defenses shine, rookie comes through in Week 10

Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens

The stage is set for NFL Week 10 and one of the best matchups on Sunday will be the Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens. Not only is this one of the best rivalries in football, but it will also have significant ramifications on the NFL hierarchy moving forward.

Both teams have reason to feel confident heading into this matchup. Cleveland is 5-3, led by an elite defense that just held the Arizona Cardinals under 1.5 yards per play. On the other side, Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson is playing like an MVP and this team is rolling on both sides of the ball.

Related: Why the Cleveland Browns’ Deshaun Watson deal is worst NFL trade ever

Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens game info

  • Kickoff: 1:00 PM EST
  • TV: FOX
  • Line: Baltimore Ravens -6
  • Over/Under: 38.5 total points

Let’s dive into our bold predictions for the Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens clash.

Deshaun Watson has 5+ sacks, INTs vs Baltimore Ravens’ defense

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

Deshaun Watson returned to the field in Week 9 after missing multiple games with a shoulder injury. In his return, the Browns’ offense scored 27 points with 326 total yards and its quarterback had a 107.5 QB rating. Just as important, he only took one sack.

If the Browns’ offensive line can provide Watson with a clean pocket, he’ll have some opportunities on Sunday. The Ravens aren’t extremely aggressive with the blitz (24.4 percent blitz rate, 17th in NFL). However, they lead the NFL in sacks.

That’s a bit concerning for Cleveland considering they’ve allowed the ninth-most pressures since Week 5 and the offensive line ranks 17th in PFF’s Pass Blocking Efficiency (84.6) over that span.

To make matters worse, Watson ranks 26th in quarterback rating (55.9) and 32nd in completion rate (42.9 percent) when pressured. He also isn’t especially effective against the blitz, ranking 16th in QB rating and 33rd in completion rate. All of this points to the Ravens’ defense emerging from Sunday with at least five combined sacks and interceptions.

Related: 2023 NFL power rankings

Myles Garrett leads Cleveland Browns defense with 2 sacks, forced fumble

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

Browns’ edge rusher Myles Garrett has arguably been the best player in the NFL this season. If not for some critical plays, including strip-sacks and a blocked field goal, Cleveland likely has a losing record right now. Instead, he’s leading an elite defense.

  • Cleveland Browns defensive stats: 4.3 yards per play average allowed (2nd in NFL, 20.8% opponents’ scoring rate (1st), 3.7 yards per carry allowed (6th), 73.2 QB rating allowed (3rd)

Related: NFL Defensive Player of the Year race, including Cleveland Browns’ star

One of the many things Cleveland’s defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has done this year is move Garrett around the field. According to Pro Football Focus, Garrett has played 49 snaps at LEO, 251 snaps at REO and 35 snaps at ROLB. He’s also even been moved off the ball as a linebacker who can come up the middle.

There are vulnerabilities to exploit on the Ravens’ offensive line. At left tackle, Ronnie Stanley has allowed a sack in each of his last two starts with six combined pressures surrendered. Meanwhile, right tackle Patrick Mekari has given up 11 pressures and three sacks this year. With the AFC North at stake, this is the perfect opportunity for Garrett to make his case for NFL DPOY with two sacks and a forced fumble.

Zay Flowers steps up for Ravens’ offense

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

When Baltimore and Cleveland last went head-to-head, Mark Andrews killed the Browns’ defense. While Jackson only finished with 186 passing yards on 19 attempts, 80 of those yards and two scores went to Andrews. It’s just par for the course as the Pro Bowl tight end has historic ownage of the Browns.

  • Mark Andrews vs Cleveland Browns (career): 48 receptions, 621 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns, 12.9 yards per reception, 56.5 receiving yards per game

Related: Week 10 fantasy rankings

We expect things will change in Week 10. Cleveland should focus more defensive attention on Andrews, he’s the target Jackson trusts most. Of course, shifting more defensive attention toward Andrews while still keeping an eye on Jackson in the pocket means someone else can make plays.

Enter Zay Flowers. The rookie has been very quiet in recent weeks, but this would be the perfect opportunity for a blow-up spot. He’s remarkably shifty and that could be even more effective against a Browns’ defense with 44 missed tackles this season. If Cleveland’s game plan centers on containing Andrews and trying to keep Jackson from burning them on the ground, Flowers should be the beneficiary of it.

Justin Tucker helps Baltimore sweep the Browns

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

In the last Browns vs Ravens game, Justin Tucker didn’t attempt a single field goal but he went 4-for-4 on extra-point attempts. In his legendary career, the future Hall of Famer has converted 98.1 percent of his 48 field-goal attempts against Cleveland.

We’re not expecting a lot of touchdowns in this game. Baltimore’s defense allows the lowest red-zone touchdown rate in the NFL (33.33 percent) and Cleveland allows the second-fewest red-zone trips per game (2.3). So, this game could come down to fourth-quarter drives, a single turnover in opponents’ territory and a test of kickers. Tucker has proven himself throughout history and with Baltimore also having the advantages offensively and defensively, that should push the Ravens to a close victory.

  • Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 20, Cleveland Browns 17

More About: