Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens
Week 5 in the NFL, the Ravens visiting their divisional rival in Cleveland, Ohio.
This one is quite hard to predict, so let's do it step-by-step:
Last week, the Ravens smashed their main rival, the Steelers, on the road. The game was actually never in doubt cause BAL dominated both sides of the ball most of the time. Their defence looked phenomenal, holding PIT under 300 yards of total offense. Once again, they shut out a team the whole second half and added an INT late in the game to seal the win.
This week, CB1 Jimmy Smith will return and probably start for Carr, who played great, too - there's just too much depth at CB. Thus, the Ravens now can field their best 11 on defence, finally. Keep in mind that BAL has the second best D league-wide right now despite the absence of Smith (suspended first 4 games) and Mosley (missed 1 game injured). In my very first review of the Ravens I wrote that their D might be something special this year. Until now, they proved me right.
For some reason, their Defence works especially well versus young QBs (Rookies or 2nd year starters). They'll face another one tonight in Baker Mayfield.
For offense, Joe Flacco is playing some great football, making good decisions all day. He's known to keep calm anyway, but tonight this will be especially helpful: The Browns D is constantly rushing the passer, trying to force bad throws. They intercepted 7 passes so far and added 6 forcd fumbles in 4 weeks - pretty awesome stats. Flacco needs to avoid the pass rush and may be forced to use check-down plays more often. Since this is his favorite thing to do, go ahead! The Ravens will see first round pick Hayden Hurst entering the field for the first time (foot injury) tonight, he will provide another pair of dependable hands for Flacco. If the O-Line plays like it did in the past few games, I see nothing but a Ravens win here.
Anyway, let's check the Browns: As mentioned above, their D is kinda ball-hawking, forcing 13 Turnovers in just 4 games. They added pure talent in this years draft (again), yet those Rookies need more time than anticipated to play up to expectations (again). Meanwhile, the Browns did many Browns-things: They failed to beat PIT in Overtime because of a blocked field-goal, lost a game vs. the Saints which should've been won and lost again last week vs the Raiders - another heartbreaking match.
QB Mayfield showed his talent, but he's still a Rookie and makes Rookie-mistakes. This leads to a balanced 2 TD / 2 INT ratio plus three fumbles (two lost).
The Browns mainly focus on their running game, and rightfully so: Their rushing attack is the second best league wide, especially Nickk Chubb (another Rookie, 2nd-Round pick) looks great. Unfortunately for them, the Ravens D is great against the run, too, ranking 4th in the league right now. If the Ravens Defence is capable to stop the run, this game shouldn't be too hard to win for BAL.
I'll take the Ravens -3,5 in this one.
World's leading bookmaker
Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens prediction
|Ravens -3,5||Bet365||1.90||8||12-9 LOST (-8 units)|