Week 9 Preview: Baltimore at Cleveland

The Cleveland Browns needed a win Sunday in Jacksonville in the worst way. They got it. Now Sunday at home vs the Ravens, they will look for a little revenge against a team that beat them up bad in week three of the season. It’s round two between the Browns and Ravens Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium, and a game that both teams want bad to stay on track to trying to catch the Steelers in the AFC North.

For now, it’s the Ravens with the one-game better record at 4-3, while the Browns come in at 3-4. Both teams feel they are playing well, as the Ravens have won two straight, while the Browns are finally finding their stride on offense and have won three of their last four. One thing is for sure, the Ravens will once again put their efforts into stopping Jamal Lewis early and then putting pressure on Derek Anderson.

In the first meeting, the Browns led 10-7 at half, but had a nightmare third quarter in which the Ravens scored three times and ran away with a 28-10 win. They harassed Anderson into five sacks and three picks, one of which was returned for a score. They also allowed the Browns to manage just 169 yards.

This time the Browns will come out a little more with a sense of purpose. They know that in order to beat the Ravens, something they did twice in 2007, they need to beat them at their own game, which is to run with success, have some big plays with the play action, then hold down the Ravens run game of Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain.

The Ravens two big backs combined for 130 yards on 32 carries and three TD’s in the first game, and Joe Flacco was 13-for-19 for 129 yards and two picks. Flacco has been playing better the past two games, but again the success of the Ravens offense will start with the run game then Flacco can gain some time and hit some plays downfield.

Cleveland played well at home three weeks ago vs the Giants, and I think they will come out with a sense of both revenge and knowing they have to play well to beat this Ravens team that has played much better the last two weeks. The Browns will find a way, and finally get their mark back to .500 at 4-4.

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