I’ve never liked the “real fan” debate. In fact, I think it’s quite silly and at last check, there’s no “fan court” to rule on someone’s fandom. However, it might be relevant to the Baltimore Ravens and their fans. Real fans (regardless of what team you cheer for) understand that success in the NFL is week-to-week and we must learn to follow the “24-hour rule”, win, lose or draw. Having said that, let’s move on, shall we?
The Baltimore Ravens were on a much needed bye last week, so they had more than 24 hours to put that embarrassing performance last week against the Houston Texas behind them and shift their focus on yet another road game against the Cleveland Browns.
On paper, this match up looks like one the Ravens would win handily. Not so fast. The Browns may be 2-6. But, their play of late says otherwise. This is a team that has won two straight home games, including one against the San Diego Chargers. A win for either team on Sunday would be a huge confidence boost. More so for the Ravens whose play on the road this season has been far from spectacular.
On Offense: Ravens QB Joe Flacco and the offense are like Jekyll and Hyde every week. We are just not sure which team is going to show up. I have run out of answers. So, I may need to take a page out of Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton’s book and insert a “suggestion box”. A little help, here?
On Defense: Stop me if you heard this one before: this unit has been absolutely destroyed by injuries.The Ravens did a good job of containing Browns RB Trent Richardson when these two teams played in Week 4. The return of OLB and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs will have a major impact.
The second half of the season is upon us and it isn’t going to stop and wait for players to get healthy. The outcome of this game is not going to define the Ravens season. But it is a very important divisional game that could play a part in deciding the AFC North. Not saying this is a “must win.” But……………
The Pick: Ravens 31, Browns 13