The Ravens are coming off of a big win against the 49ers. The Browns are coming off of a close game to the Bengals. The Ravens are 8-3 and in third place in the AFC behind the Patriots and Texans. They have the same record but they are higher up for now. The Browns are 4-7 but they have played decent football. Led by quarterback Colt McCoy, the Browns have dealt with off the field issues, injuries, and distractions. Peyton Hillis was injured part of the year and was also trying to get a contract extension.
Colt McCoy played well against the Bengals but his receivers do not help him. His receivers dropped at least 5 passes, which could have let them win. He doesn’t seem to get upset with them and continues to throw it their way, even if they are dropping the ball. Their running game has been very good the last three weeks and they got Hillis back against the Bengals and he did a decent job. The offense is so close to clicking and the Ravens defense will have to be careful of this young quarterbacks skill.
The Browns defense is number five in the NFL. They are 29th in rushing yards allowed but they are number 1 in pass yards allowed. Joe Flacco will have a tough time against a very good Browns secondary.
Flacco played very smart against the 49ers. He didn’t throw any interceptions and threw one touchdown pass. If he plays smart, I don’t think the Ravens will lose. If he throws a few interceptions then I think they will lose. Whether the receivers drop them and they get picked or he throws it to the player, he must be smart with the ball.
The defense played well against the 49ers but without Lewis it is a totally different defense. They did well because they got pressure but against the Bengals, they let up over 300 yards passing and 50 plus rushing yards. With Lewis in there it is rare to see a team get 400 plus yards on the Ravens. He is the heart of that defense, so if he doesn’t play against the Browns I think the Ravens will lose.
Prediction: 23-20 Browns