The Cleveland Browns continue their tour through the AFC North this week, as they take on the Baltimore Ravens at home. With running back Peyton Hillis finally healthy, and a defense that almost always keeps them in games, the Browns certainly have a shot at pulling the upset.
To get another perspective on today’s match-up, Dawg Pound Daily spoke with Riley Babcock of Ebony Bird. We talked about the Ravens’ struggles on the road, the future for Ray Lewis, whether or not Joe Flacco is the quarterback to take the Ravens to the next level, and more.
1. The Ravens’ defense is as dominant as ever, but the offense has been inconsistent all season. Is that a major concern for you as the team pushes for the playoffs?
As the old saying goes, “Defense wins championships.” While it is definitely a concern, the defense’s dominance is what keeps the Ravens in games. I have no explanation for the offensive roller coaster but they’re hitting a hot streak right now that should carry into the playoffs.
2. WR Torrey Smith is turning out to be a great pick for the Ravens so far – what has been the most impressive thing about him this season?
What impresses me the most is his mental toughness. There are plenty of NFL players who have their year ruined by a dropped pass. Torrey Smith has dropped a few crucial passes but came right back out and made a big play. To see this from a rookie is simply unheard of.
The other thing that’s incredible is his vertical speed. We’ve reached a point in the season where teams should know that he’s the deep threat and they should play deep zone over him. Somehow, he still manages to burn safeties on a weekly basis.
3. Joe Flacco is in his fourth season – from what you’ve seen, do you think he’s a quarterback who can take this team to the Super Bowl?
After watching that Steelers game, I definitely do. I’ve always had faith in him but that last minute drive solidified the notion that he can take the Ravens to the Super Bowl. He’s come a long way since his rookie year and is starting to emerge as a solid quarterback. I’m interested to see what he can do in the playoffs this year and how he becomes more of a team leader.
4. How many years do you think Ray Lewis has left? If the Ravens were to win the Super Bowl this season, is it likely that he will retire?
He really wants another Super Bowl and if he accomplishes that, he’ll definitely retire. I’d like to think he will continue playing until he gets that ring but time is running short. He said in an interview that he can’t imagine playing past 37 and he’s 36 right now. If I had to guess, I’d say two more years unless he wins a Super Bowl.
5. This might seem like an easy one for you, but the Ravens are on the road this week, where they are 2-3 on the season. Do they avoid a letdown and win this game?
I’d like to think the Ravens can win every game as does any fan of a sports team. In the NFL, you’re never guaranteed a victory and anything can happen on any given Sunday. I hate predicting games because you can never predict the unpredictable. Although the odds are against them, the Browns have a shot as does every team. It comes down to who wants it more.