The Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens square off tonight in Week 4’s Thursday Night Football on NFL Network. The Ravens are coming off a close victory against the New England Patriots, while the Browns are hoping to rebound after losing to the Buffalo Bills at home last week.
Crucially for the Browns, they are without many key players. Wide Receiver Mohammed Massaquoi was added to a list of absentees this past week. Massaquoi’s loss could be a blessing in disguise for the Browns as Travis Benjamin and Josh Gordon will now be more involved on offense.
Because the Browns have struggled running the ball, and the Ravens excel at shutting down the run, the Browns will likely be tempted to run their offense with multiple receivers more tonight than at any other point this year. The problem for the Browns will be that the Ravens are very comfortable in their nickel defense.
By shifting to three receivers, the Ravens will respond with more defensive backs, however that won’t create a matchup advantage for Trent Richardson inside. A key piece of the Ravens’ nickel defense is cornerback Lardarius Webb. Continue reading