THE WATER COOLER: Oh No…The Browns are Coming!

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It has only been a week since the Ravens last played but it seems so much longer. That’s what happens when you get waxed on a national stage.

The next game can’t get here soon enough.

This week the Ravens FINALLY play their home opener and the World Champion banner will unfurl at M&T Bank Stadium. The forecast is for mostly sunny skies and temps around 80.

Of course that said there’s a sort of old saying that goes like this:

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me 300,000 times, well then I’m guessing you’re a meteorologist.”

Ok, well maybe I made that up but you get the picture…

The Ravens are 6 ½ point favorites over the Browns on Sunday and the over/under line is set at 43 ½. Some might look at the line and think the Ravens will easily cover but the line seems pretty reasonable. The Ravens look like a team that will struggle at times early on this season.

Defensively there are so many new pieces and it will take some time for the Dean Pees’ unit to gel. Does anyone have any confidence in the safeties at this point?

Offensively the Ravens will struggle at times with trust. Trust is earned and for the moment Joe Flacco doesn’t have that with tight ends Ed Dickson and Dallas Clark. Familiarity and repetitions stand in the way of Flacco and Marlon Brown. But there is promise in Brown if you believe Torrey Smith.

“Marlon is a big playmaker,” said Smith. “He can do a little bit of everything. He has deceptive speed with his stride. He gets in and out of his breaks fast, and he’s explosive for a guy his size.”

The running game will take some time as well. The offensive front just doesn’t seem to be getting any kind of push and that could be in part due to the newness of Running Game Coordinator Juan Castillo’s blocking schemes. Let’s hope the schemes live up Castillo’s fancy title. So far it looks anything but coordinated.

To help get things right the Ravens turn their attention towards Brandon Weeden & Co. The Ravens carry a 10-game winning streak over the Browns into the contest. As they try and stretch the streak to eleven they will do so against former teammates Paul Kruger, Bobby Rainey, Oniel Cousins and Billy Cundiff.

Here’s hoping the 70,000 plus keep it classy when Cundiff takes the field.

 

ODDS & ENDS

Anyone concerned about Paul Kruger if Michael Oher doesn’t start? … Under John Harbaugh the Ravens are 33-7 at M&T Bank Stadium during the regular season… Joe Flacco’s 10 wins vs. #Browns tie John Elway for most W’s by a starting NFL QB vs. an opponent without a loss since 1970 merger…The Ravens’ official website originally assigned newcomer RB Shaun Draughn the No. 20. Not THAT would have triggered an uproar. By the way, was the team’s signing of Draughn, an indirect admission of guilt for not retaining Bobby Rainey?

I’m guessing that Aaron Mellette had a bad dream during which his knee got stuck in a car door. He’s now on IR and lost for the season. Funny how those injuries happen…It looks like Ed Reed will sit out again this week for the Texans although he has returned to practice. Look for him to make his Texans debut here in Baltimore next week. Interestingly, the early line on that game lists the Ravens as 1-point underdogs. You may recall that the Ravens were embarrassed in Houston last year, losing by the score of 43-13. That was a beat down of epic proportions and by far worse than the Mile High whipping last week.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Don’t know if you saw it but during NFL Networks replay of last Sunday’s 49ers v. Packers game, Jim Harbaugh in a not so subtle way mocked the Ravens for the Anquan Boldin trade. I’m sure there’s many here in Baltimore who would agree but the point here is brother John must have attended Mom and Dad’s lessons on class while Jim was out sucker punching someone’s little brother.

You may recall that during his playing career with the Indianapolis Colts, Harbaugh did exactly that to Jim Kelly, the former Buffalo Bill. Kelly had criticized Harbaugh’s play and took a swing at the Hall of Famer. Harbaugh missed his target hitting Kelly’s head and broke his hand. Here’s the story LINK

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