The Dawg Pound Daily staff got together to share their predictions for today’s primetime matchup between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens.
Ready for some primetime Cleveland Browns football?
The Browns may be 0-9, but it sure is nice to have this Browns distraction during such a polarizing week in the nation. Who can’t come together in hopes of a victory?
A win over the Ravens would help put away the dreaded 0-16 possibility, and also give the young players some confidence moving forward.
We here at Dawg Pound Daily got together to share our predictions for tonight, and one writer was even bold enough to pick the Brownies.
Jonathan Goehring (2016 record: 5-4): Ravens 36, Browns 24
It will be a high scoring contest, but Cleveland simply does not have the fire power or the pass rush to keep up with the Ravens for the duration of a football game. Cody Kessler will continue to make strides in this one, but the Browns will lack a running game.
Early in the game, it will be a highly contested high scoring matchup. When the third quarter approaches though, the Browns will let it slip away by giving up chunks of yardage in the middle of the field to Mike Wallace and Dennis Pitta. While the game will be competitive in the fourth quarter, and Terrelle Pryor and Gary Barnidge will keep the team in the game, it won’t end pretty for the Browns.
Tom Moore (2016 record: 9-0): Ravens 31, Browns 10
The Cleveland Browns can barely score more than 14 points a game and are completely hopeless when it comes to holding opposing teams to under 30 points a game. After dropping the first meeting of the year between the two teams, the Browns have now lost 15 of their past 17 games to the Ravens.
Welcome to Cleveland, national TV audience, where it is not always Cleveland Cavalier victory parades or Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the World Series.
Roger Cohen (2016 record: 7-2): Ravens 30, Browns 9
Tribe season over, Cavs finally lost, seems like time for a Browns win? Uh, not just yet. Short week, miserable hangover from Dallas and catching Ravens and all the Baltimorons off a Steeler win — and with a whole day to fuel up on Natty Bos. That smells like a 30-9 snoozer with Flacco hitting several bombs and the Raven defense harassing poor Cody Kessler back to the concussion protocol.
An ugly game to hit double-digit losses, with the only redeeming outcome a decent day from Browns kicker Cody Parkey. Hey, at least Browns fans get their Sunday back.
Joel Cade (2016 record: 7-2): Ravens 34, Browns 17
The Cleveland Browns have surrendered 30 or more points in six of their past seven games. They have given up a minimum of 25 points each game this season. The team they “held” to 25? That would be the Baltimore Ravens. This Jim O’Neil-esque defense is the main reason the Browns sit at 0-9 and possibly going “0-16 in 2016”.
The Browns struggle against tight ends. The Ravens bring in two very good tight ends with Crockett Gilmore and Dennis Pitta. There is absolutely no reason to believe these two TE’s will do anything but run wild this week. The Browns FO made a mistake letting both Donte Whitner and DeShaun Gipson leave. Now the Browns start undrafted free agents and late round draft picks in those spots and it is hurting the team severely. Please, for the love of God, cover Kyle Juszczyk out of the backfield!
On offense, the team has been unable to rally to come back to win. Cody Kessler looks like a younger version of Josh McCown, in both a positive and negative way. The good news is that this will be the second game with Corey Coleman back, which should lead to an increased role and more production. The Browns were successful running the ball against the Ravens utilizing the power run and counter. Hopefully the Browns running game will come back to life opening the deep passing game. It will be up to Kessler to deliver the ball deep.
Some of you may remember my prediction in the first Browns-Ravens game in week 2.
After that game, Josh McCown suffered a broken collarbone and was out for a month and a half. The rematch may be more of the same. As is the tradition with Thursday night games, this game will be sloppy and poorly played. Ironically, a sloppy game gives the Browns an advantage. The question is, can the Browns win the rematch?
Steven Kubitza (2016 record: 5-4): Ravens 27, Browns 13
I nearly got caught up in that gameday optimism. The Browns will surely win eventually, right? That belief gets harder to believe during every passing week, and a short week does not bode well for this young team.
The defense has been unable to hold an opposing offense under 25 points all season, and that will not change tonight against the experienced Joe Flacco.
If the Browns are going to win a game this season, tonight if their best remaining chance. So perhaps they pull off the upset, but that would be a Thursday miracle.
Matt Stevenson (2016 Record: 8-0): Ravens 24, Browns 17
The Browns finally get a shot to play on national television tonight against the Baltimore Ravens. Cleveland continues to seek its first win of the season and getting one against a division rival would be a great first victory.
The Ravens are coming off of a big win against the Pittsburgh Steelers to take the lead in the AFC North, despite almost losing the game. The Ravens, similar to the Browns, are lackluster and have yet to identify themselves. Joe Flacco hasn’t lived up to expectations and with a limited run game the Browns can take advantage.
If they prevent big plays from Baltimore’s speedy veterans in Steve Smith and Mike Wallace, they will have a good chance at a low-scoring game. Kessler must get his receiver weapons involved early and Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson need to be productive and efficient on the ground. As much as I’d like to give the win to the Browns, the Ravens can notch another win and elevate in the standings under the lead of Flacco. Ravens win in a tighter game than anticipated.
Eric Szczepinski (2016 record: 5-3): Browns 16, Ravens 13
I don’t have a great explanation on this prediction other than I woke up feeling optimistic about a victory in primetime. Much like 2009, when the Browns beat Pittsburgh on Thursday Night Football, the underdog Browns somehow find a way to pull out a road win.
For many of our younger and rookie players, tonight marks their first primetime game and despite the winless record they will be excited and amped up for the big stage. Cody Kessler plays turnover-free football and the defense generates enough pressure to keep Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco out of rhythm.