Ravens Yet to Prove Their ‘Innocence’

September 19, 2008 |

What the heck is going on here? Every Baltimore Sun sports writer (with the exception of Edward Lee) picks the Ravens over the Browns, callers to the station seem to think a Ravens win is a foregone conclusion and the only two WNST on-air hosts who think Cleveland leaves M&T Bank Stadium with a win (or at least a “cover”) are me and Rex Snider.

Granted, Rex is 1-9 against the spread the last two weeks so maybe that ain’t going a long way towards making the case I’m about to make but let’s not assume that Joe Flacco’s Ravens are ready to beat a playoff contending team just yet.

“Playoff contending? Who? The Browns? What the hell’s wrong with you, Unger? They’re 0-2!”

Yeah they got smacked around by Dallas in the first game of the season and the offense looked mummified in week 2 against the Steelers but, until further notice, the Browns are a better team than the Ravens.

I mean, come on, close your eyes and try to think all the way back to three weeks ago when the Ravens were picked last in the division by most pundits and callers were foaming at the mouth decrying the lack of depth, the untested offensive line and a rookie quarterback expected to spend most of ’08 running for dear life.

Then the Bengals came to town. The “ScaredyCarsonOchoCincoHoushmandzgonnaplaydefense” Bengals. A team so bad defensively, Joe Flacco felt more pressure deciding what to eat for breakfast this past Sunday than he did in four quarters of football two weeks ago.

I’m saying the Ravens got a free pass against Cincy. They won’t this Sunday. Cleveland needs a win the way Sarah Palin needs political experience. And they have the talent to get it…

At least I think so.

Derek Anderson can’t possibly go from the Golden Arm of ’07 to the Golden Chump of ’08, right? Jamal Lewis wasn’t just a one year wonder either… or was he? And what about Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow Jr.? Given the fact the Browns have something of a running game, and a much better offensive line, you could (and should) argue that Cleveland brings more to the table offensively than Cincy did.

Defensively, expect the Browns to go after Flacco in a way the Bengals simply couldn’t. Okay, I admit, we’re not talking the Fearsome Foursome here but the Browns do have some talented, atlhetic linebackers and I expect a defensive scheme filled with blitz packages, stunts and as much chaos as the team can cause.

The Ravens started the season guilty of being a bad football team. One game didn’t change that. Beat the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and you’ll have my attention. But until then it’s…