Here are some notes from the history between the two teams:
– The Ravens look to snap a 2-game losing streak to the Browns. Last season, Cleveland swept Baltimore for the first time since 2001.
– The Ravens are 11-7 all time vs Cleveland, including 6-3 at home. Baltimore has won 4 of the last 5 games played against the Browns at M&T Bank Stadium.
– The Ravens are 19-6 in their last 25 home games. Dating back to 2000, Baltimore is 47-18 at M&T Bank Stadium, tied(Ind. And Den.) for the 2nd-best home record in the NFL.
– The Ravens look to start 2-0 for just the 3rd time in franchise history (2000 and 2006).
– The Ravens have won 5 of their last 6 coming off the bye. Baltimore snapped a 5-game bye winning streak in 2007 when it dropped a 38-7 game at Pittsburgh (11/5) after the bye.
– Ed Reed has 263 INT return yards and 2 INT-TDs are also his most against any NFL team.
– The Ravens have recorded at least 1 INT in 7 consecutive games against the Browns. Baltimore has posted 11 picks in those contests, producing 256 return yards and 2 TDs. Here are the individual game-by-thefts for Baltimore over that time
Here is my six pack for the Ravens – Browns game:
- Contain Braylon Edwards: So far this year Edwards has had a disappointing season. The Ravens can not afford to let him get going against them today. Cover Edwards from the time he gets off the team bus till the time he gets back on it. I would not be surprised to see a Terrell Suggs or Bart Scott go out on Edwards just to give him a nice solid hit and try and rattle him early. Edwards maybe a game time decision as to whether he will play or not due to a shoulder injury he suffered last week against Pittsburgh. If he does try and play with a hurt shoulder, the Ravens will be very physical with him.
- Make Derek Anderson uncomfortable: Anderson has proven that maybe he is not this legendary quarterback that everyone thought he was last year. Last year all of his offense was healthy. This year he is missing two of his receivers, Braylon Edwards is a little banged up, and Jamal Lewis has struggled. The offensive line for the Browns will be with out Eric Steinbach today who has been a huge help to the development of Joe Thomas. Maybe the Ravens defense can throw some exotic blitzes at Thomas and try to confuse him.
- Limit Josh Cribbs: Cribbs has become one of the most dangerous return guys in the NFL. The Ravens will have to have a plan today to limit his chances for big returns. Cribbs can help a struggling offense out a lot by giving them a short field to work on. One big advantage that the Ravens might have is that Jerry Rosburg the Ravens special teams coach was the special teams coach for the Browns the first couple of years Cribbs was in the league.
- Attack with offense: The Browns defense comes into the game missing a couple of big pieces. With DE Robaire Smith now out with a season ending achillies injury, and the secondary missing Sean Jones, what was already a suspect defense has some big holes in it. The Ravens offense has to be physical and attacking much like they were against the Bengals. The big matchup to watch and the key to the Ravens running attack having success is Jason Brown versus Shaun Rogers. If the interior offensive line can contain Rogers that could really open up some big running lanes for the running backs.
- Find Heap: After most fans were ready to run Heap out of town after his week one performance, I look for him to have a big game this week. Heap will want to go have a solid performance to make up for last week, but also he creates match up problems for the Browns defender trying to stay with him. There is really no one on that defense who can stay with Heap, and they may have to send extra guys to put pressure on Flacco which could open up the field for Heap.
- Let Joe go: Look for Cam Cameron to open up the playbook a little bit in the passing game for Flacco this week. This will be a key to keeping the Browns honest in respecting the passing game. Now, I do not think that you will see Flacco throwing the ball 20 times down the field for long gains, but I think he will take some deep shots to test this suspect secondary. Ideally the Ravens do not want Flacco to throw the ball 20-30 times, because that might be an indication that the running attack is not working. Flacco will probably end up with the same type of stats as in week 1, but with more throws down the field.
My prediction : Ravens 23 – Browns 13