Ravens vs. Browns: 6 stats that define Cleveland’s 5-3 start

The Ravens and Browns are set for a heated Week 10 matchup at M&T Bank Stadium that could add some separation to the AFC North race.

All four teams in the division would be playoff-bound if the tournament started today, and a Baltimore win could begin to put them into the AFC driver’s seat as teams work to get the home-field advantage and the bye week that comes with the top spot.

With kickoff now just 24 hours away, here are six stats that define Cleveland’s hot start.

Total defensive effort

Cleveland has allowed just 1,878 yards this season, the fewest by a Browns team through the first nine weeks and the fewest in the NFL in 2023.

On the season, the Browns have limited opponents to 27-of104 (26.0) on third down. The 26 third down conversions are the fewest allowed in the league.

Browns defense has wrecked games

The Browns are about the opposing offense driving backwards, and Cleveland has forced -286 opponent yards and 67 negative plays, both second in the league this year.

The defense has only allowed 96 first downs this year, first in the league.

Browns keeping teams out of the red zone

The Browns have only allowed 18 opponent drives inside the red zone and just 96 points, tied for first (49ers) and seventh in the NFL, respectively.

Browns finally seeing the vision

After hiring Kevin Stefanski, naming Andrew Berry GM and acquring QB Deshaun Watson, the Browns’ are finally starting to see the fruits of their labor. Cleveland’s 5-3 start is tied for the team’s best start to a season since 1999. The team also started 5-3 in 2020, 2014 and 2007.

Last week, the Browns shutout of Arizona was the largest margin of victory (27) in a game since a 44-6 victory against the Cardinals on Nov. 16, 2003.

Browns are still rolling without Nick Chubb

Cleveland’s 144.1 rushing yards per game are the third highest in the league.

Deshaun Watson can use a big day

Watson is tied for seventh in NFL history with three games of at least 300 passing yards, two touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown in their first seven seasons.

A performance on that level Sunday could put the Browns in first place.

Stout against the run

Cleveland held Arizona to 58 total net yards in Week 9 and held Tennessee to 98 total net yards in Week 3, becoming the first team in 41 years and the fifth team in the Super Bowl era to allow 100-or-fewer yards in two of their first eight games of a season, joining the 1982 Bills, 1976 49ers, 1973 Rams and 1967 Raiders.

Story originally appeared on Ravens Wire