Cleveland Browns Scouting Report: Baltimore Ravens

Editor's note: Tony Grossi covers the Cleveland Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR.

Browns v. Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, 1 p.m., in M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD

Record: 1-0.

Last game: Defeated Cincinnati Bengals, 20-0, Sept. 10, in Cincinnati.

Coach: John Harbaugh, 96-64, 10th year.

Series record: Ravens lead, 27-9.

Last meeting: Ravens won, 28-7, Nov. 10, 2016, in Baltimore.

League rankings: Offense is 20th overall (third rushing, 29th passing), defense is fourth overall (14th rushing, fifth passing), and turnover differential is plus-4.


1. The defense: Anchored by a front seven that features a liberal combination of pass rushers, stout run-stoppers and sure tacklers, coordinator Deen Pees’ unit is regarded as the best in Baltimore since its historic 2000 team. The safety combination of Tony Jefferson and Eric Weddle might be the best duo in the NFL, making life a little easier for top three cornerbacks Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr and Marlon Humphrey – who are good in their own right.

2. Speed at wide receiver: In Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin and Breshad Perriman, they are able to stretch defenses better than any Ravens’ group in recent memory.

3. Kicker Justin Tucker: The NFL’s most accurate field-goal kicker of all time (89.9 percent), with more 50-plus yard field goals than anyone since 2012 (28), he is simply the best. Plus, the accomplished opera singer can carry a note like nobody else in the NFL.


1. Running backs: Already down Kenneth Dixon, their projected No. 1 back, they lost No. 3 Danny Woodhead on Tuesday to a hamstring injury. They will promote somebody from their practice squad, but the main two backs are former Brown Terrence West and 2015 fourth-round pick Buck Allen.

2. Offensive line: Injuries and a retirement cost them three of their top eight players. Other than left tackle Ronnie Stanley and Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda, this group is below-average.

3. Tight end: Dennis Pitta led all tight ends last year with 86 receptions. He was forced to retire after a recurrent hip injury flared up. Then No. 2 Crockett Gillmore was put on injured reserve with a knee issue. So they’re down to No. 3 Nick Boyle and 36-year-old Benjamin Watson.

Players to watch

1. Rush linebacker Terrell Suggs: This 34-year-old pass rusher kicked off his 15th NFL season with two sacks of Andy Dalton, raising his career total to 116.5 – second-most among active players behind Julius Peppers (144). Seventeen of his sacks have come against the Browns.

2. Quarterback Joe Flacco: After missing all of preseason with an unspecified back injury, he threw for only 121 yards in the opener and attempted only three passes in the second half against the Bengals. Since 2008, he ranks third to Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers with 94 wins and is second only to Brady with 10 wins in the postseason. He is 15-2 against the Browns.

3. Safety Eric Weddle: In his first season with the Ravens, the former San Diego Charger earned his fourth Pro Bowl berth with four interceptions, giving him 23 in his career, fourth-most among NFL safeties.

Small world: General Manager Ozzie Newsome is the Browns all-time receptions leader and was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999 … Among the former Browns employees with the Ravens are Pat Moriarty, senior VP of football administration; Kevin Byrne, senior VP of community and public relations; John Dube, VP of football video operations; Bob Eller, senior VP of football operations; Bill Jankowski, VP of IT; and Mark Smith, VP and head trainer … Senior personnel assistant George Kokinis was Browns general manager in 2009 … Director of Pro Personnel Vince Newsome played for the Browns in 1991-92 and was a special assignment scout from 1993 to 1995 … Running back Terrance West was a Browns third-round draft choice in 2014 … Tight end Vince Mayle was a Bronws fourth-round pick in 2015.