The Steelers are out, and the Ravens are in! At least, that’s what we’ll be saying Sunday evening if all goes to plan…
Going into Los Angeles to play against one the of league’s best field marshals wasn’t going to be easy. But the Baltimore defense showed up and absolutely gender-neutral-handled Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ offense (apparently the word manhandle is offensive, according to my editing software). Play after play the Ravens front purple-reigned on Rivers, putting pressure, hurries, knock-downs, and four sacks on him.
Next up are the Dogs from Cleveland. The Ravens have been listed as six-point home favorites (at opening) at popular online sportsbooks like Bovada. Can they finish the out-of-nowhere division win by taking down the Browns?
A Chance to Clinch
It’s amazing to think that just a couple of short weeks ago the Baltimore Ravens were just barely holding on to hopes of entering the playoffs. Thanks to a late-season resurgence, winning five of their last six and the Steelers’ late-season collapse, the Ravens are now in a position to take the AFC North and the Pittsburgh Steelers are on the outside hoping that the Colts and Titans showdown ends in a rare tie.
The Browns are 7-7-1, a far cry better than most people thought they would be this season. They’ll be fighting tooth and nail to finish with a winning record for the first time since 2007. Baker Mayfield has proven to be the fresh young leader that the Browns need as well as a talented playmaker. The Ravens can’t overlook the Cleveland on Sunday; the Browns are hungry.
Much like the Browns, the Ravens needed some new blood to spark the offense. Lamar Jackson will be behind center again and we will be witness to star rookies going head to head in Weeek 17. The Browns have been absolutely dominated by the Ravens over the years (3-18). But this isn’t the same Cleveland team. We should expect much more pushback on Sunday and in the near future.
That said, some healthy fight is all we should see out of the Browns this year in Week 17 against the Ravens. The Baltimore defense is rolling. They maintain their position as the No. 1 scoring defense and are also the No.2 home defense at 16.29 points per game. Not to mention the momentum they are carrying after shutting down one of the best offenses in the league in Week 16.
The Browns are putting up about 24 points per game while on the road, but we should expect Purple Reign to hold Baker and Co. to fewer than 20. Conversely, the Ravens have upped their home average to 27 points per game, which just happens to be the same number that the Browns defense tends to give up on the road.
All signs point to the Baltimore Ravens getting another win. It will be win number six since Lamar Jackson stepped in seven games ago. Six points is a fair number, but we shouldn’t be surprised to see the Ravens win by a touchdown or as much as 10. The Browns are much improved, but they are still 0-10 against squads with winning records. Their wins this season have come against struggling teams. If you remember, when they played the Houston Texans (a winning team) it was like someone let the air out of their tires and they sputtered to a stop around midfield.
Week 17 Prediction
Betting on your team just for the sake of loyalty is a mistake too many people make.
However, that isn’t the case with the Ravens in Week 17. Take Baltimore to win and cover -6.