5 reasons Baker Mayfield will lead Cleveland Browns past Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns Baker Mayfield (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns Baker Mayfield (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns Denzel Ward (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Denzel Ward can shut down John Brown

Joe Flacco is enjoying his best season in years, and receiver John Brown has been the prime beneficiary. He leads the Ravens with 338 yards on 15 catches.

Unfortunately for Brown, he’ll be going up against Denzel Ward.

Ward’s by no means had it easy during his first professional month, going up against Antonio Brown, Michael Thomas and Amari Cooper.

But he’s held his own.

The fourth overall pick in last spring’s NFL Draft ranks among the NFL’s top 10 overall graded cornerbacks, according to Pro Football Focus. And third in coverage grade 82.4.

Something else worth noting: Opposing quarterbacks complete just 59.3 percent of their passes when target Ward, which is exactly what the Browns need in order to bring Flacco down a rung. The former Buckeye has has been tagged 10 times the past two weeks, while only allowing three catches.

The Ravens do have other options in their receiving corps with Willie Snead and Michael Crabtree.

E.J. Gaines and T.J. Carrie will likely do a lot of the heavy lifting replacing Terrance Mitchell. Gaines was hurt a lot during the preseason, and didn’t look great during fil-in duty last Week, but perhaps a week a preparation of knowing what to expect will do him good.

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Either way, Ward been lights out and taking away Flacco’s primary target will only help the Browns chances to win for the second time in three games.