Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 9/27/12

The 0-3 Browns will return to primetime with a visit to Baltimore to take on the 2-1 Ravens.

This game will be the first following the end of the NFL referee lockout, with real referees on tap to officiate tonight. So this means no more complaints, no matter how valid, can be attributed to poor officiating!

Cleveland Browns

After a terrible performance in Week 1, it looked like the offense had turned things around against the Bengals in Week 2. Brandon Weeden threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns, while Trent Richardson had two total touchdowns and 145 total yards. They did lose the game, but it was an offense that has not been seen in Cleveland since 2007.

But Week 2 appeared to be a fluke when the Browns lost 28-14 to the Bills last week.

Weeden threw two interceptions and Richardson only rushed for 27 yards on twelve carries. The defense had another rough game without Joe Haden, out due to his four-game suspension for using a banned substance.

The defense was the strong point for Cleveland last year, but Haden’s absence is having a major impact. He is one of the top corners in the league, and with such a thin defense, he is needed for the Browns to have any chance at stopping top receivers like Torrey Smith of Baltimore.

For the Browns to have any chance of winning this game, they will need Weeden to protect the ball. He has a tendency to overthrow his receivers, which leads to easy interceptions.

Along with Weeden, Richardson must do better than he did last week. Some of the blame falls on the offensive line, but the Ravens have allowed just over 111 yards on average. He must eclipse the 75-yard mark to help out the rest of the offense for the Browns to have a chance.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens barely squeaked out a win over New England last week when Justin Tucker’s field goal went over the top of the right upright, but it was ruled good. It was a made field goal by rule, but it was as close as it can get. It felt eerily similar to last year’s loss in the AFC Championship game to New England, but the kick was actually made this time.

Baltimore’s offense is what kept them in last week’s game against New England. Joe Flacco threw for 382 yards and three touchdowns, while Ray Rice ran for 101 yards and a touchdown.

The best story out of last week’s game was Torrey Smith. After tragically losing his brother less than a day before the game, he had one of the best games of his young career. He caught six passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns in an emotional game for himself and his teammates.

Browns-Ravens Prediction

The Ravens have won their last eight games against the Browns, and that trend will continue that trend tonight.

Cleveland is in a stage of rebuilding that never seems to end, and they will continue to struggle until changes are made.

Ravens 34 | Browns 21

*****

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens Game Info
  • Browns-Ravens Date: Thursday, September 27
  • Browns-Ravens Kickoff Time: 8:20 PM
  • Browns-Ravens TV Network: NFL Network
  • Browns-Ravens Point Spread: Ravens -13
  • Browns-Ravens Over-Under Odds: 43.5

The post Thursday Night Football: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens Preview and Prediction appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.


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