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Browns 2017 opponent breakdown: Ravens, Weeks 2 and 11

Posted Jul 12, 2017

Baltimore swept Cleveland in 2016

One by one, ClevelandBrowns.com is breaking down each of the Browns’ 2017 regular season opponents as training camp fast approaches.

Who: Baltimore Ravens (8-8, 2nd in AFC North, 2016)

When: Sept. 17 and Dec. 17

Where: @ M&T Stadium (Baltimore) and FirstEnergy Stadium

Series history:  9-27 (Ravens 28, Browns 7 in 2016 at M&T Stadium)

Way-too-early storyline(s): One week after opening against AFC North champion Pittsburgh, the Browns travel to Baltimore and a revamped Ravens offense that acquired wide receiver Jeremy Maclin this offseason. They also snagged former Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson, who chose Baltimore over Cleveland and several other suitors in free agency.

The Browns lost both of their meetings against the Ravens last season in frustrating fashion. In the home opener, Cleveland raced out to a 20-0 lead before surrendering 25 unanswered points. Later in the year in Baltimore, the Browns led, 7-6, at halftime on Thursday Night Football before being overpowered in the second half.

Key players to watch: QB Joe Flacco, LB Terrell Suggs, SS Eric Weddle, FS Tony Jefferson, WR Jeremy Maclin, TE Ben Watson

What happened in Baltimore this offseason?

— The Ravens signed wide receiver Jeremy Maclin to a two-year contract after Kansas City unexpectedly released the veteran. Maclin, a 2014 Pro Bowl selection known for his breakaway speed, gives Baltimore a vertical threat they might’ve missed in recent years.

— They used their first-round pick on cornerback Marlon Humphrey. The Alabama star recorded five interceptions, 13 pass breakups and 81 tackles in two seasons with the Crimson Tide and should compete for a starting job on a pass defense that ranked 8th in the NFL last season.

— Baltimore released veteran tight end Dennis Pitta after he suffered a third — and potentially career-ending — hip injuring during OTAs. Pitta led league’s tight ends in receptions with 86 and totaled 729 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

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