The silver lining to Browns’ dismissive performances
The Baltimore Ravens will be travelling to play against the Cleveland Browns this Sunday. Last week, the Ravens (8-3) defeated the San Francisco 49ers by 16-6. Ravens’ head coach, Jim Harbaugh acknowledges that his team is playing well and hopes they would continue with their form. With just 5 matches left in the regular season, Ravens are destined for a spot in the playoffs.
Harbaugh and Co. will be playing against the Indianapolis Colts, the San Diego Chargers, the Browns and lastly the Cincinnati Bengals in the following weeks. If the Ravens continue to post big numbers on the board each week, they will surely win all of these matches.
However, the head coach of Cleveland Browns, Pat Shurmur would ask Harbaugh not to get ahead of himself. Shurmur reckons that in spite of his team’s inconsistencies, the Browns still pose a threat to other teams in the league. Sadly, Shurmur couldn’t be more wrong.
The Browns’ defense line has had a disappointing season. They have barely had any interceptions or sacks for that matter, but they are first in the league in pass defense and that is probably what Shurmur would be banking on. Even Harbaugh has admitted that Browns have an impressive pass defense system.
In an interview this week Harbaugh said, “They're covering real well. Dick Jauron does a great job in the back end. He's kind of a secondary guy from way back. They're very solid. They don't give up a lot of big plays. They get good pressure up front. They're a very good defensive football team. If you look at the numbers across the board – red zone, yards per play – there are a number of categories where they are in the top five, top 10 defensively this year. Very salty defense. Just watch them on tape. It's going to be a big challenge for us, especially there, in the conditions that we are probably going to have to go against.”
The three running backs from the Browns starting lineup have all gained valuable experience this season. Their performance has been steadily growing and soon enough they are expected to become household names for the Browns. Shurmur has adopted more of a downhill-style in his game play for the offensive line. His trio of running backs have successfully adapted his strategies.
Recognizing Shurmur’s success in rushing offensive plays, Harbaugh said, "They are near the top of the league the last two games in yards per game, in the rushing attack. So, they've really beefed that thing up. They've got Peyton Hillis back now, which really does it for them. But, in the meantime, two young guys have played really well for them. [Montario] Hardesty and [Chris Ogbonnaya], I will not pronounce his name because I'll probably get it wrong…”