When Cleveland visits Baltimore Sunday in the NFL opener for both teams, the Ravens and Baker Mayfield might both have to deal with something they find difficult:The Browns may run the ball a lot. It should be their primary weapon.
Cleveland has Nick Chubb (1,494 yards last season) and Kareem Hunt at running back, and the Browns added two big-time tackles: Jedrick Wills Jr. from Alabama via the tenth pick in this year’s draft, and former first-round selection Jack Conklin from Tennessee via free agency. Conklin helped Derrick Henry lead the NFL in rushing last year.
New head coach Kevin Stefanski relied on his ground game heavily as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator last season, placing sixth among NFL teams in rushing yards per game (133.3) and showing commitment with the fourth-most rushing attempts (476).
If the Browns pound the ball on the ground to what Mayfield feels is an undue degree, he won’t like it. Odell Beckham Jr. won’t like it either, as he’s already a No. 2 receiver of sorts. (Mayfield is a junior, too: Johnny Manziel Jr. A trifle better, but equally irritating.)
The Browns imploding would be fun to watch. But what if they run the ball well enough to win?
Besides rooting for the Browns to be broken, here’s hoping Antonio Brown signs with Baltimore so the Ravens can break, too.
It would also be entertaining to see all the old quarterbacks fall apart. (Except Ben Roethlisberger, he felt obligated to say.) Tom Brady is 43, Drew Brees is 41. Philip Rivers is 38. Aaron Rodgers is 36, but annoying beyond his years. Enough already.Go home.
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