Much has been made about the disadvantages of not having fans in the stands during the 2020 NFL season.
The energy level is different, home teams don't have a 12th man to help them out on defense and each game has a completely different feel than any game these players have ever played in.
But what about the positives? How can teams weaponize the lack of a crowd in games? In the midst of the Ravens' Week 1 blowout of the Browns, second-year receiver Marquise Brown found one.
“Yes, you definitely could hear the defense and hear what they’re calling out there," Brown said. "So, that was pretty good for us. But other than that, you just have to lock in on your assignment. It’s football between those lines.”
Whatever Brown heard, he certainly used it to his advantage. He finished the game with five catches for 101 yards, helping the Ravens stretch the field and find plenty of open throwing lanes for Lamar Jackson to find tight end Mark Andrews for two scores.
Now, Brown probably tipped his hand a little here and might have given Ravens' future opponents something to make sure they have covered. For someone with Brown's speed, a tactical advantage like hearing the defense's plan for you before the play could be diabolical.
But as he said, at the end of the day it's just you and your matchup.