10/7/2018 Browns Pregame
The revitalized Cleveland Browns host the Ravens this Sunday and this will be the Ravens first chance to get a look at the rookie quarterback, Baker Mayfield, who has looked good in his first few games. The Browns offense has really rallied behind Baker, their number one draft pick, and this Browns team does not look like the Browns of yester year. That said, so far this season bad luck has seemed to follow the Browns, and if they had gotten a few breaks and some better officiating they very well could be 4 – 0. Hue Jackson is starting to turn things around for the Browns and some of their recent draft picks are starting to pay off for them. Baker is the real deal and he is likely to be their franchise quarterback for many years to come.
For reasons unknow to me, the Ravens traditionally struggle against the Browns – especially when they play in Cleveland. While the Ravens typically find a way to win these games they have historically been some of the most unattractive wins you have ever seen. Statistically the Ravens have owned the Browns over the past many years. Flacco is 8 -1 in Cleveland and 17 – 2 overall. On paper this game leans heavily in favor of the Ravens who statistically have a better offense and a better defense. That said, NFL games are all about match ups and who wins the battle in the trenches and who has the better skill players. The one key match up to watch is how the Ravens offensive line handles the rush from Miles Garret as well as Larry Ogunjobi. If they get pressure on Joe and make him jittery it could be a tough day sledding for the Ravens offense and could make this a tough game overall. Coach Mornhinweg has done a nice job drawing up good protection for Joe so far this season and hopefully has the right mix of plays and protection to keep Joe upright. Another match up to notice – is how the Browns secondary handles the Ravens receivers and tight ends. If Joe has time to throw he could have another 300+ yard day.
AFC North games on the road are always a tough contest. The teams know each other well and they understand the importance of winning these intra-divisional games. Although this is just week 5 in the NFL, the Ravens are playing their 3rd intra-divisional road game of the season. Make no mistake this is a very hard way to start the season, but if we come out of it going 4 – 1, we will be well positioned in the second half of the season when we get them all again at home. Road games are hard, but the Ravens know they need to win this one. They have several road games in their schedule that look daunting, but frankly this is one game that they should win. The Ravens are the better team and if they game plan well and protect the ball they win this by a touchdown. The Browns have an excellent run game and the Ravens will be challenged to keep them under 4 yards per carry. Hyde and Chubb are tough running backs and our interior line will have to plug up the middle to contain these backs. The Ravens are favored by 3 points in this one and I predict they will cover. The over under is set at 45.5 – I like the over. Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.
Cleveland Browns hosting the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, October 7th 1:00 PM Odds Ravens by 3
Score Ravens 27 Browns 20
Turnovers Plus 2
Net Rushing Yardage Ravens 91 Browns 118
Net Passing Yardage Ravens 316 Browns 241
• Suggs gets 2 sacks
• De’Lance Turner gets 6 carries for 23 yards
• Ravens get two picks
• Refs make terrible calls
Possible Monday morning headlines
Smokey burns the Browns
Keys to the Game
• Account for Mile Garrett
• Stop the Cleveland’s ground game
• Protect the rock!