Week 3 Preview: Cleveland at Baltimore

With an unexpected Week Two bye, the Ravens players are no doubt ready to get back on the field. And once again they will be playing a division rival in the friendly confines of M & T Bank Stadium. One positive that the team can take from their off time is to allow some players to heal those bumps and bruises and be at full strength this Sunday. By the way the Browns have begun their season, they might be the ones looking to regroup.

The Dawgs have had their share of injuries and troubles during the opening to the season. Their most important concern has to be the lack of offense as former All-Pro performers simply aren?t getting it done. Most notably Braylon Edwards, who has as many drops as catches and Derek Anderson who already has some people thinking Brady Quinn wouldn?t be a bad option. This team was picked by many to contend for the AFC North crown and this week they need to come out with some urgency as they don?t want to drop to 0-3. Since 1998, only 3 teams have made the playoffs after an 0-3 start, so history isn?t on their side.

There are some key matchups to address. A struggling Browns offense against a Baltimore defense that does not have the injury worries that plagued them in last year?s 33-30 overtime victory by the Browns. The defense has always been stout against the run and has not allowed a 100 yard rusher in the past 20 games. A struggling Jamal Lewis will find tough sledding against his former team. The Ravens offense will be asking rookie Joe Flacco to once again lead the squad against a unit that he had issues defending the run and plays a young secondary. With the group performance of the Ravens backfield of Ray Rice, Le?Ron McClain and a returning Willis McGahee, they should help keep pressure off of Flacco.

This game looks like another that Baltimore can take. You have to question how the bye week will affect them? Will they be able to come out sharp or will the early week off hurt their timing? The Browns will be desperate and the Ravens love playing at home, in fact since 2000 they are 47-18 that puts them tied for second best in the league. I see another solid performance by Flacco and the Ravens ground game leading the way in this one and it puts the Ravens in the category of yet another unexpected team to go 2-0.

Ravens 21 Browns 13

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