Prediction No. 2
Writer: Randy Gurzi
Game: Cleveland Browns (0-0) at Baltimore Ravens (0-0)
Summary: The 2020 NFL Season is finally here and the Cleveland Browns drew the short straw as they have to kick things off with the reigning AFC North champions, the Baltimore Ravens. It’s going to be a huge test for the Browns right out of the gate, but they do have a few things going for them.
First off, the Ravens will be the home team but there won’t be a real homefield advantage. The COVID-19 concerns facing our nation have led to Baltimore’s decision to keep M&T Bank Stadium empty for this one.
Second, the Browns aren’t the same rag-tag team we saw a season ago. With Kevin Stefanski and Andrew Berry replacing Freddie Kitchens and John Dorsey, respectively, the franchise is a lot more focused — and a lot less brash.
Having said that, they still had the tough task of instilling a new system without being able to hold any offseason minicamps or OTAs. That gives teams such as the Ravens a huge advantage. On top of that, the Cleveland offensive line will be better but they haven’t had a chance to gel in live action yet.
In the end, the Browns just need to make sure they can keep this one close. They won’t have a disaster like they did in Week 1 of 2019 but they likely still start out 0-1 simply due to their inability to work the kinks out in meaningless games — but don’t worry, they should still have a much better season overall even with this speedbump.
Score Prediction: Baltimore 26, Cleveland 20