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Browns-Ravens Week 3 & 17 Preview

Posted Apr 22, 2014

A look at the biggest storylines in the Ravens-Browns matchup

Baltimore Ravens

Additions: WR Steve Smith, TE Owen Daniels, RB Justin Forrsett, S Dartan Stewart

Subtractions: WR Tandon Doss, OT Michael Oher, TE Ed Dickson, DE Arthur Jones, LB Jameel McClain, CB Corey Graham, SS James Ihedigbo

Biggest storyline: It has to be Ray Rice. An off the field altercation that’s still being investigated dominated the headlines in Baltimore. In 2013, the Ravens running game ranked 30th in the NFL. Rice only managed 3.1 yards per carry. The Ravens need him to return to his old form.

Biggest storyline part II: The Ravens have aligned a backup plan if their running game stalls again. The additions of Steve Smith and Owen Daniels should free up the offense for quarterback Joe Flacco to make more plays down field. Although, Flacco was sacked seven times last season against the Browns. Fans in Baltimore are hoping the quarterback's gutsy playoff performance two seasons ago will reappear over the course of a 16 game season.

Biggest storyline part III: Several impact players on the defensive side of the football are no longer with the Ravens. Corey Graham had six interceptions the last two seasons. Stats don’t do Arthur Jones justice, while he clogged lanes for blitzing linebackers.  James Ihedigbo was one of the surest tacklers on the roster, racking up 101. Baltimore has always been successful with the next-man-up philosophy. Still, replacing starters with younger guys on their depth chart is risky.

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