Browns (0-2) @ Ravens (1-0)

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Per game


Per game









































All right, so admittedly, that chart is a little bit misleading, considering the Ravens have only played one game, and it was against the Bungles. But I just couldn’t resist the chance to put so many “1”s next to the Ravens’ rankings, especially after so many numbers in the 20s last year. It’s fun when your team is the best in so many categories, so the Nest has no problem reveling in it. Hell. Yes.

Moving on.

Are the Browns really as bad as they have looked so far in 2008? The media darlings, what with their 14 Monday Night Football games (or whatever it is), who were picked by so many to cruise to their first division title since being reincarnated, have looked like absolute dog (pound) shit this season. In their defense, however, they have played the teams that look like the best in the NFL (Dallas) and possibly the best in the AFC (Shitsburg) in Weeks 1 and 2. So when level of competition is considered, the Ravens’1.000 winning percentage vs. the Browns’ 0 could be a bit of a smoke and mirrors show. We will get a much better idea Sunday what both of these teams are really made of.

The last time Cleveland came to town, the system malfunctioned, and the NFL was forced to reevaluate their rules regarding field goal reviews. The purple and black will certainly be looking for some revenge this week after having victory (rightfully or not) taken from them after they had already retired to the locker room. Quite frankly, we like their chances.

What’s wrong with the Browns’ offense? Sure, they played Dallas in Week 1, but that same Dallas team gave up 37 points to Philly (at home) in Week 2. This was the #8 O in the league last year, and they’ve managed only 16 total points in 2 games? Hard to believe after watching them last year, but the 2008 version of Derek Anderson, Braylon Edwards, and Jamal Lewis has not built upon last year’s success at all so far. Anderson thrown but 1 TD pass this year after heaving 29 of them in 07. Edwards has a severe case of the dropsies. Lewis looks like the Jamal that we ran out of B’More after the 06 season.

If the Ravens’ D can get anywhere near the kind of pressure they generated on Carson Palmer in Week 1 on Anderson (they sacked him only twice in 2 games in 07), Ravens fans will see why they should be thanking (and not cursing) Ozzie and Brian Billick for the fact that Joe Cool, and not Derek, is our signal caller.

Speaking of Joe Cool – possibly the biggest advantage coming out of last week’s cancellation was that Flacco (or “Falco” as Terrell Suggs calls him) gets another start in front of his adoring home fans before playing his first NFL road game. Another week to digest the playbook, another week to practice his checks at the line when they can actually hear him, and another week of being showered with “Let’s Go Flac-co!” chants will all help the rookie moving forward.

That’s not all the help he will get, though. More is on the way in Week 2, in the form of Willis McGahee. The Browns are allowing 142 ypg on the ground, and Cam Cameron’s three-headed attack of McGahee, Ray Rice, and “Le’Run” McClain will each get their chance to dice them up. How productive they are will depend heavily on the ability of the Ravens front to move Shaun “Big Baby” Rogers, Cleveland’s big offseason acquisition, off the ball. Jason Brown will get help from his guards, Ben Grubbs and Marshall Yanda, and this will be one of the most interesting matchups of the contest. Rogers was pretty disruptive in the game I saw Sunday night, but we know JB will be up to the challenge.

The main factor in the Browns’ win in their last trip to B’More was not Phil Dawson, or the refs, though. It was Joshua Cribbs and the Cleveland return game. Cribbs set up both the tying field goal and the winning one with big kickoff returns. Reports out of Cleveland are that Cribbs is a bit banged up, and missed practice Wednesday. We certainly wouldn’t cry in our beer if Cribbs is unable to go Sunday, but it is a bit of a shame because we’d like to see how special teams guru John Harbaugh will attack him. Tom Zbikowski, Haruki Nakamura, Brendan Ayanbedejo, Yamon Figurs and the rest of the Ravens coverage team will have their first real test of the season, should Cribbs be able to give it a go (and we suspect he will). Containing him is tantamount to beating the Brown Stains, as he showed in 07.

Even in that game last year, when Cleveland had been clicking on all cylinders for weeks, and B’More was in only game 4 of what would become a 9 game losing skid, the Clowns needed some great special teams play, a reversed “no-good” call on a field goal, and a win of an overtime coin flip to emerge victorious. No such number of lucky bounces will fall their way this Sunday. Sure, the Clowns are a desperate team – but they were also desperate (for a TD) last week with less than 5 minutes to go, and Romeo Crennel sent in his field goal unit – they don’t seem to know how to deal with desperation. The B’More running game will stay cranked up, Joe Cool will be just that, and the Ravens will take advantage of their fresh legs to break a 2-game losing skid against the Browns.

Ravens 23 Browns 16


One Response to “Browns (0-2) @ Ravens (1-0)”

  1. sprizzle Says:

    Here’s to 15 consecutive wins!

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