Top priority: Stopping Richardson

Top priority: Stopping Richardson
October 30, 2012, 5:30 pm
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The Cleveland Browns didn't wow anyone with their victory last week, but running back Trent Richardson finally had a breakout performance and the Browns have won two of their last three games.

The Browns opened the season by losing their first five, including 23-16 in Baltimore on Sept. 27. They edged the San Diego Chargers 7-6 last week and will have a rematch with the Ravens in Cleveland on Sunday.

Unfavorable weather conditions in Cleveland grounded the offense and rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden's ability to throw. So rookie running back Trent Richardson stepped in to have his best game of the season with 122 yards on 24 carries. It was his first time reaching 100 yards since Week 2.

The Ravens kept him in check in their first meeting, holding Richardson to 47 yards on 14 carries. But Richardson seems past a rib injury that had limited him in recent weeks.

In their last three games, the Ravens' defense is allowing an average of 207 yards rushing. 

"It sure looks like he’s getting healthy," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "From what I’ve seen so far, he looks every bit like the third pick in the draft right now. And he’s got that big, physical offensive line. Obviously, that’s something that we’ve had issues with, stopping the run. So, we’d expect them to try to take advantage of that, and they’ve got the back to do it.”

The Ravens have had trouble scoring on the road, averaging just 15 points compared with 32 at home.

The Browns have had problems scoring, too. They've put up 20 points in the last two weeks and their receivers have been below average.

Weeden, however, hasn't had a turnover in 176 plays.