Preview: Ravens Look to Sweep Season Series Against Browns

Ravens tight end Mark Andrews (89) hauls in a touchdown reception over two Browns defenders, safety Juan Thornhill (1) and cornerback Denzel Ward (21), in a game in Cleveland on October 1, 2023. Correspondent photo / Michael G. Taylor

The Baltimore Ravens welcome the Cleveland Browns to down as the two AFC north rivals get set to battle for the second time this season. The Ravens are coming off another impressive victory last Sunday as they dismantled the Seattle Seahawks to move to 7-2 on the year, while the Browns are coming off a win of their own defeating the Arizona Cardinals 27-0 to move to 5-3. The last time these two teams met, both sides were suffering from key injuries, as the Ravens prevailed handing the Browns a 28-3 beatdown in week four.

The time around however several key players should be back in the lineup for both sides. That includes safety Marcus Williams (hamstring) and right tackle Morgan Moses (shoulder), both of which practiced in full this week. Williams does not have an injury designation for Sunday meaning he is likely to play Sunday while Moses is listed as questionable. Cornerback Jayln Armour-Davis (illness) did not practice on Thursday but did practice in full on Friday and is listed as questionable. The biggest Ravens injury news came about on Thursday at star cornerback Marlon Humphrey and star rookie running back Keaton Mitchell both were limited in practice on Thursday with hamstring injuries. Mitchell who has missed some time with a hamstring injury did practice in full on Friday and is currently listed as questionable. Humphrey however was limited on Friday and is also listed as questionable, but with a quick turn around for Thursday night it will be interesting to see how much the Ravens want to play it safe with him.

The Browns will be with quarterback Deshaun Watson (right shoulder) as he practiced in full this week and has no injury designation. Running back Pierre Strong (hamstring) and cornerback Greg Newsome (groin) were both limited in practice on Thursday and Friday and are listed as questionable. Wide receivers David Bell (knee) and Marquise Goodwin (concussion) did not practice this week and have been ruled out. Rookie tackle Dawand Jones (knee/shoulder) has also been ruled out after not practicing all week. Starting right tackle Jack Conklin and starting left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. are both on injured reserve. Now with Jones down too it looks like the Browns will be turning to Geron Christian who signed to the Browns practice squad on Halloween, and James Hudson III who has seven career starts in three seasons.

Players to Watch:

Isaiah Likely

2023 has been a slow start for second year tight end Isaiah Likely. Through nine games Likely has just eight catches for 84 yards and has four games this season where he didn’t even have a target. With the use of more wide receivers in Todd Monken’s offense and the talent as the wide receiver position and ahead of him in fellow tight end mark Andrews. Likely has struggled in the early going to find his role in this offense.

But all of that may soon change. In last weeks win over the Seahawks Likely caught all four of his targets for 42 yards, his most yards since week 18 last season. Likely is just another playmaking weapon that this offense has that will be important down the stretch for this Ravens offense. The slow start shouldn’t be indicative of Likely, but rather the position that this offense is in, and how much of this offense is yet to be seen. Likely will be a key player to watch come Sunday and moving forward for this Ravens team.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

Third year linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has begun to shape into the player the Browns had hoped when they selected him in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft. Owusu-Koramoah currently ranks second on the Browns in total tackles with 38 while also adding one sack and one pass deflection. In four career games against the Ravens Owusu-Koramoah has 23 tackles a half sack and one forced fumble.

Owusu-Koramoah while not an elite linebacker is very efficient on a Browns defense that currently ranks first in the NFL. His speed and quickness sideline to sideline is largely why the Browns selected him all the way back in 2021 to help slow down Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. Since Owusu-Koramoah got drafted Jackson has only averaged just over 39 rushing yards against the Browns, something to keep an eye on this Sunday.


Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is expected to play this Sunday something he didn’t do the first time these two teams met just a few weeks ago. While Watson is an upgrade from rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, to argue he will make up a 25 point difference against the Ravens on Sunday may not be realistic. Of course it is the NFL and what the Ravens did to the Browns in week four isn’t a guarantee to happen again this Sunday.

However, from week four till now the Ravens defense is playing even better, which is crazy to think about after only giving up three points to the Browns, while also being much more efficient offensively as well. Watson may be playing but its hard to imagine he is fully healthy, in addition to the Browns possibly needing to start third stringers at both left and right tackle could be a recipe for disaster for the Browns. If the Ravens offensive line can keep Lamar Jackson clean and out of the grasp of Myles Garrett, while also protecting the football. Head-to-head the Browns simply put are not better than the Ravens even with Watson under center. Ravens win their fifth straight, 27-10, and sweep the season series.

Line: Baltimore -6.5

Over/Under: 38.5

All-Time Record: Baltimore leads series 36-13

Last Meeting: 10/1/23 Baltimore 28-3

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