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NFL Baltimore Ravens

5 Baltimore Ravens Players Who Need To Step Up In Week 9 vs. Cleveland Browns

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5 Baltimore Ravens Players Who Need To Step Up In Week 9 vs. Cleveland Browns

Maxwell Kruger-USA Today Sports

Good news folks. The Baltimore Ravens are back to playing football this week, which means I can go back to doing my weekly column on the most important players who need to step up. This week, the Ravens will play division rival Cleveland Browns for the second time, and this time in Cleveland. The Ravens won the first meeting in Baltimore 14-6.

Two weeks ago, I picked six players who needed to step in the Week 7 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Those players were Ray Rice, Gino Gradkowski, Lardarius Webb, Marlon Brown, Terrell Suggs and Justin Tucker. For the most part, everyone I picked had decent performances, Suggs had yet another sack of Ben Roethlisberger to raise his career total to 16.5, that's a large amount for one QB. The one player I really want to focus on, though, is Tucker.

Tucker was three for three on all of his field goal attempts, which is huge in a game where neither team cracked 20. The one thing that really bothered me, though, was his kickoff after the Ravens tied the game 16-16. You mean to tell me that Tucker can’t boom the ball out of the end zone kicking from the 40? I don’t know if the coaches instructed him to kick it shorter or if it was just a bad kick by Tucker, but either way, the results were disastrous for the Ravens.

The following five players need to step up this week against the Browns if the Ravens hope to get back into playoff contention. Enjoy the show.

Dan Abeshouse is a Baltimore Ravens Writer for Follow him on Twitter @Danabeshouse82, Like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google

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Lardarius Webb

Evan Habeeb-USA Today Sports

When coming up with my list of players for this week, Webb was the first guy I thought of. He'll likely be matched up on Josh Gordon, who wasn't present for the first game in Baltimore due to suspension. Besides Jordan Cameron, Gordon is the only guy on this offense that really scares me. It's imperative that Webb doesn't up the big play to Gordon, because he could be a game changer.

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Haloti Ngata

Brad Mills-USA Today Sports

Earlier in the week, I wrote an article suggesting that the Ravens might be wise to try to trade Haloti Ngata this upcoming offseason. I figure it might be a good idea to trade a slowly declining and often-injured player who will be a$16 million cap hit next year. Hopefully, Ngata can start proving me wrong in this game. Luckily, 30-plus Willis McGahee won't scare anybody, and there's a good chance that the Ravens could break their dubious two-game streak of giving up at least 100 yards rushing; Ngata chance, right?

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Ray Rice

Kevin Hoffman-USA Today Sports

I feel like I've been calling for the Rice 120-yard rushing, two-touchdown game all season now. Will it finally happen in Cleveland? It might be a little more difficult now that starting LG Kelechi Osemele is now out for the year with a back injury. Perhaps Rice could run more to the stronger right side of the line behind Marshall Yanda and Michael Oher. Or maybe the Ravens will use my suggestion of getting Rice out in space more with sweeps, tosses, screens, etc. It could happen.

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Jacoby Jones

Evan Habeeb-USA Today Sports

Torrey Smith will have Browns' top corner Joe Haden locked on him all day, so this would be the perfect time to try to hit Jacoby Jones for a few bombs. Even still we could be looking at a low-scoring game where Jones' return abilities could help swing field position. Which leads us to.....

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Sam Koch

Ron Chenoy-USA Today Sports

Who's more important in a field-position game than the punter? That's right, I've got Ravens punter Sam Koch on my list for the first time ever. If I know the Ravens like I think I do, they'll move the ball well, but will stall out on the 40-50-yard line. From there, it will be up to Koch to pin the Browns' offense back. If you're a fan of punting, this game will probably be for you.