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IT’S PREDICTION TIME: Ravens v. Browns

Lombardi's Way IT’S PREDICTION TIME: Ravens v. Browns

Posted in Lombardi's Way
8+ Comments John says I predict Tandon Doss drops at least one pass. Ravens 17, Browns 13 in a highly contested game.
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Ravens v. Browns, M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD

Ravens favored by 6 ½; over/under 43 ½

 

No matter how good or bad divisional rivals are, the familiarity usually paves the way to a competitively fought game.

Such will be the case when the Baltimore Ravens host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at The Bank.

The Ravens are struggling with an identity crisis on offense. The toughness and attitude provided by the physicality of departed wide receiver Anquan Boldin has been replaced by finesse and undefined roles. As a result of injury Dennis Pitta, a go-to pass catcher for quarterback Joe Flacco, has been supplanted by veteran Dallas Clark. Fortunately for Flacco the Brown defensive backfield is a bit of a mess outside of Joe Haden who is likely to mirror Torrey Smith.

The offensive line has been slow to execute Running Game Coordinator Juan Castillo’s blocking schemes and techniques. Without Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce churning up real estate by ground, it becomes increasingly more difficult for Flacco to be effective by air with unproven receivers (save Smith) and without the benefit of play action.

And cranking up the running game, regardless of Rice’s previous success against Cleveland, will not be an easy task. The Browns gave up 20 yards rushing on 23 Dolphins attempts last week.

Defensively the Ravens struggled in the secondary in Denver and while the Browns probably won’t threaten Dean Pees’ backfield on the flanks, Tight End Jordan Cameron could prove to be menacing to the team’s slumping safeties, much like or perhaps even more so than Julius Thomas did at Mile High on opening night.

Of course Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, the soon-to-be 30-year-old second year player, will never be mistaken for Peyton Manning nor does he have the arsenal that the future Hall of Famer has at his disposal.

Weeden has to hope that powerful RB Trent Richardson can get it going in Baltimore. If the Ravens are forced to bring 8 men up in the box that will set up play action for Weeden and intermediate to long strikes in the middle for Cameron. If Richardson struggles against the Ravens front 7 it could be a long day for Weeden who is “protected” by a very shaky right side of the line that has seen the likes of former Raven Oniel Cousins.

Add it all up and from my vantage point this contest shapes up as a defensive struggle that will more than likely be decided by turnovers and those more often than not during the Ravens history go to the home team.

The sledding will be tough early as the teams exchange body blows but in the end the Ravens will make a few more plays than the Browns who will struggle to outscore the Cleveland Indians who pounded out 14 runs against the White Sox last night. Make it 11 straight for Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh over the Browns.

 

PREDICTION: Ravens 23, Browns 13

 

LAST WEEK: 0-1 v. Winner, 0-1 v. Spread

 

WHAT’S YOUR PREDICTION?

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin to being John Bonham. Follow Tony on Twitter @RussellStReport. More from Tony Lombardi
8 comments
John
John

I predict Tandon Doss drops at least one pass. Ravens 17, Browns 13 in a highly contested game.

GoPoe
GoPoe

I think the Browns win this one. Their front seven stop Rice cold, and their leaky secondary is helped along by more big drops by Ravens receivers. Meanwhile our safeties continue to be unimpressive allowing a few big plays by the Browns. Browns 20, Ravens 17 Note 1: Kruger gets at least one sack. Note 2: After another week of unimpressive play by the veterans, it's decided that Elam and Brown will start Week Three.

Djsquizz Baltimore
Djsquizz Baltimore

My prediction, Tandon Doss gets in the game in the first half, plays well. Gets extended playtime in the 2nd half. Ends up with 13 catches for 200 + yrds.....somebody wake me up from my dream...lol

Grant
Grant

My prediction is 17-28 Ravens!

Mac in Va
Mac in Va

24-7. Indians...er Browns avoid a shutout with a score in the top of the ninth (dang it, I meant late in the fourth quarter.)

Jonny B
Jonny B

Damnit Tony...took my prediction.

Ravcolt
Ravcolt

The Ravens are struggling with an identity crisis in all three phases of the game - not just offense.

RussellStReport
RussellStReport

Don't confuse an identity crisis with poor execution.

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