Reports that Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III will miss significant time with a shoulder injury will change the Ravens’ game plan for Sunday’s game in Cleveland. Instead of preparing for Griffin, the Ravens will expect to see Josh McCown starting at quarterback for the Browns, and McCown has been a nemesis for the Ravens.
McCown threw for 457 yards and two touchdowns last year in Week 5 against the Ravens, as the Browns left M&T Bank Stadium with a 33-30 victory. The Ravens won the Week 12 rematch against the Browns in Cleveland, 33-27, but McCown still threw for 212 yards to go along with one touchdown and one interception. McCown also beat the Ravens when he was with the Bears in 2013, when Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman was the Bears’ head coach.
Trestman’s familiarity with McCown and the Ravens’ previous games against him will help their preparation. However, this will be the Ravens’ first look at McCown since Hue Jackson took over as Browns head coach.
The Ravens have enough experience dealing with McCown to know that he is capable of hurting them. But the Ravens’ are coming off an excellent defensive performance in Sunday’s season opener against the Bills, and McCown isn’t as mobile as Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, nor is McCown as mobile as Griffin. The Ravens sacked McCown a total of five times in two games against him last season. If the Ravens’ pass rush can harass McCown in Week 2, it will improve their chances for a 2-0 start.