By Austin Payne
Well, you finally did it Baltimore, you beat the Browns this year. Compare this to their previous game against Cleveland, on September 29th, when they somehow managed to take a loss from this same team, 25-40.
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Obviously at this point in the season we weren’t entirely aware of just how elite this Ravens team would be consistently, and though we had seen early glimpses of Lamar Jackson’s potential greatness, we had no idea if he or the team itself would be able to sustain this level of play, especially after losing to a team like the Browns.
Today though, in their second and final matchup against the divisional rival that isn’t really much of a rivalry, they handedly put away this directionless and lost franchise, 31-15.
Of course LJ dazzled us all again with his multifaceted game and with just how easy he makes it all look, racking up 238 passing yards to accompany his 103 on the ground, as well as a clean 3 touchdown to no interceptions ratio.
This win and impressive performance didn’t come without its negatives though, as the Ravens sustained a couple injuries to key players that could very easily hamper them going forward. Mark Ingram suffered a calf strain and did not return, while Mark Andrews appeared to incur a right ankle injury that seemingly was less serious.
The Ravens face another divisional matchup next week against the Steelers, but having secured the number one seed in the AFC with today’s dominating performance, it seems very likely that they might rest several players next week, as that would be the logical thing to do considering it is not a necessary win and risking further injury to these valuable contributors provides no added value to this team.
Without neglecting the other party involved in this stomping put on display, the Browns have a lot of things to figure out. Being a team that was the talk of the offseason for all of their various acquisitions and high profile moves, they’ve managed to live precisely up to my expectations of letting us all down relative to what they should be capable of.
We have to begin to ask if Baker Mayfield is actually that good? Is Freddie Kitchens that bad? Was the second half of 2018 a fluke? I mean how can a quarterback who looked this good at times throughout his rookie year, be so awful throughout the entirety of his second campaign in the league? Not to mention the fact that you have two of the best receivers in the league at your disposal, albeit debatable with Landry and Beckham having a nagging injury, as well as two highly competent running backs who’ve had proven success in the league.
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The Ravens have found their future and the direction with which they wish to take their franchise undoubtedly, but the Browns on the other hand…have some questions to answer, and some concerns to mend.