Baltimore Ravens (1-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-1)
|Date & Time||Sunday September 21, 2014, 1:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Cleveland Browns 0 -- Over/Under: 41.5
The Baltimore Ravens visit the Cleveland Browns Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Baltimore Ravens have had a week and a half to prepare for this game after embarrassing the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night. The Ravens seemed to put the Ray Rice mess behind them and are getting solid production out of backups Justin Forsett and Bernard Pierce, two backs who have both topped over 100 yards already. Joe Flacco and Steve Smith have developed a serious connection the past couple of weeks, and the Ravens quarterback has over 500 passing yards and is completing 61.5 percent of his passes. The Ravens offense is balanced and has a bit of an attitude to it the first couple of games. Defensively, the Baltimore Ravens are allowing 340.5 yards per game and have forced three turnovers and two sacks. Daryl Smith leads the Ravens with 17 tackles and Elvis Dumervil has both of the team’s sacks.
The Cleveland Browns have gained the attention of the NFL with a recent upset over the New Orleans Saints. The Browns bread and butter right now is their running game that’s averaging 5.1 yards per carry. With Ben Tate banged up, rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell are carrying the load, combining for three touchdowns and more than 200 rushing yards. Brian Hoyer is completing 60.6 percent of his passes and has two touchdowns to zero interceptions. The Browns want to be a physical offensive team and have shown the ability to be just that in the first couple of games this season. Defensively, the Cleveland Browns are allowing 450 yards and have forced five sacks and three turnovers. Karlos Dansby leads the Browns with 18 tackles and Paul Kruger has a sack in each of the first two games.
I don’t think the upset over the Saints was a fluke, as the Browns have a different attitude and are starting to believe they can actually beat some of the better teams in the league. With help from the home crowd and the Browns dominant running game, Cleveland should be able to squeak out another win here. Yes, I know the Browns have beaten the Ravens only once since 2008, but this is a different team that has a winning mentality.
The Browns will get the job done.