Week 9 Matchup
The 3-4 Baltimore Ravens face the 3-5 Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday, November 3rd at 4:25 PM ET.
While the Ravens are coming off of a bye; They are on a 2 game losing streak where the offense has looked anemic and have lost any sort of a running game with all-pro running back Ray Rice. Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco has done little to nothing to prove that he is worth the new contract he signed this offseason; Which is a 6 year 120.6 million dollar contract. One of the few things that is working in favor for the Ravens is that they have won 11 straight games against the Browns and QB Joe Flacco in his 7 year career has never lost to the Browns. Although the offense has looked bad throughout the season; The new look defense has somewhat carried this team as they rank 16th in passing defense(238.7 YPG), 13th in rushing defense(104.3 YPG), and 11th in points allowed(21.1 PPG). Coach John Harbaugh have made some changes with the defense by getting rid of veteran safety Michael Huff, who signed a 3-year deal this past offseason; Huff is getting replaced by rookie Matt Elam. The Ravens have a lot of questions and a lot more holes than last year, but is this a team that just has the Browns number and will win this weeks game.
The Cleveland Browns have had a rough few weeks. Through 5 weeks they were 3-2 and looking good, but starting QB Brian Hoyer tore his ACL and was lost for the. Once the injury took place the Browns went back to QB Brandon Weeden and the losing streak started. The Browns have lost the last 3 games; 2 of them started by Brandon Weeden and last weeks game started by new starting QB Jason Campbell. While the Browns have a 3-5 record and 3rd in the AFC North; Fans have a good reason why to be optimistic going into this upcoming game and weeks to come. Defensive Coordinator Ray Horton has evolved this team into a defensive first team; With the Browns being ranked 6th in passing defense(216.8 YPG), 12th in rushing defense(103.6 YPG) and 15th in points allowed(22.4 PPG). This past week had a lot of conversation surrounding the trade deadline, but nothing like most years happened. Rumored players like Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron, and Greg Little are still on this team and are here to help this offense finally click and start winning games. When looking at this game these teams might be more even though first; Especially when looking at the recent past of these teams.
QBs- Joe Flacco gets the nod over Jason Campbell
RBs- Ray Rice/Bernard Pierce gets the nod over Willis McGahee/Fozzy Whittaker
WRs- I give the wide receiving core of both teams a tie
TEs- Jordan Cameron way in front of Dallas Clark
O-Line- Ravens O-line get a slight nod over an improving Browns O-line
D-Line- Browns D-line with Taylor/Rubin/Bryant get the edge over a group lead by Ngata
LBs- Probably the most even match up I give this one a ties as well
CBs- Haden/Skrine get the nod over Webb/Smith
FS/SS- Ward/Gipson get the nod over Ihedigbo/Elam
Special teams- Tucker/Jones/Doss get the nod over Cundiff & the rotation of KR/PR the Browns will use.
I give the nod to the Ravens in 4 categories(QB, RB, O-line & Special Teams)
I give the nod to the Browns in 4 categories(TEs, D-Line, CBs & FS/SS)
Which in the end makes this a tie with the WRs & LBs being tied.
Ravens & Browns 4-4-2.