Will the Ravens finally have a breakout game on the ground?
That won't be easy to do against the Browns. In spite of any issues that Cleveland may have on offense, its defense is one of the best in the AFC and one of the best in the NFL against the run. Phil Taylor is a talented young player at nose tackle. Defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin is a force versus the run. Inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson is one of the leading tacklers in the league. Outside linebackers Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard have both graded out well versus the run, according to Pro Football Focus. And the Browns also have strong safety T.J. Ward, a physical player who is one of the best safeties in the NFL in the run game. Cleveland limited Ravens running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce to just 93 yards on 32 carries in Week 2. And for the year, the Browns are allowing just 3.7 yards per carry, which is tied for the sixth-fewest in the NFL. However, working in Baltimore's favor is that this appears to be as collectively healthy as Rice and Pierce have been since the first game.
Can Joe Flacco and the passing build off their success against Pittsburgh?
Despite some missed opportunities in the red zone and the Ravens finishing with just 16 points, Baltimore did some good things offensively versus the Steelers two weeks ago, especially in the passing game. Joe Flacco's numbers from that game won't jump out - 24 of 34 for 215 yards and one touchdown - but he was efficient, made some big throws and led the Ravens to a game-tying scoring drive late in the fourth quarter. The game also showed some of the weapons that Flacco has now. Torrey Smith is one of the leading receivers in the NFL and Jacoby Jones is back healthy, but Marlon Brown has developed into a weapon to go along with Smith and Jones, and Tandon Doss has become a factor out of the slot and on third downs. Baltimore has also gotten more of late out of tight ends Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson. Flacco and the passing game struggled some during the first meeting with the Browns, but Cleveland's secondary is the most vulnerable part of its defense. A key will be protecting Flacco against one of the league's top pass rushes.
Will the Ravens' defense bounce back?
It would be easy to say that the defense should considering it will be facing an offense that is down to its third-string quarterback and has a 32-year old Willis McGahee starting at running back. But the Browns do have weapons like wide receiver Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron. They do have an offensive line led by Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas that held the Chiefs' top-ranked pass rush to just one sack. And Campbell did throw for 293 yards and two touchdowns against that highly-ranked Kansas City defense. But for the Ravens, can they get back to playing the high level defense that it has at various points of the year? Baltimore has had problems on defense during the last month, both in the run game and against the pass, but players and coaches still feel like the Ravens have the pieces to be one of the NFL's best defenses. The matchup with Cleveland will be telling.