Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 9/26/12

Week four of the 2012 NFL season begins Thursday Night with the Baltimore Ravens (2-1) hosting the Cleveland Browns (0-3) in a battle of AFC North rivals.

The Cleveland Browns offense creates a golden opportunity for the struggling Ravens defense to get back on track this week. Cleveland has struggled on the offensive side of the ball thus far as only four teams have scored fewer points than the Browns (57 points). The Browns struggles begin with their rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden who is tied for the league lead in interceptions thrown at six, and holds the fourth worst quarterback rating among NFL starters at 60.7. Rookie running back Trent Richardson may be the only player on the Browns offense that Baltimore will want to contain as Richardson broke out in week two with a 109-yard performance against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Ray Rice and Joe Flacco may be set up for huge performances on Thursday Night as Cleveland's defense allows 122.7 rushing yards per game and 269 passing yards per game, both ranking in the bottom third of the league. Flacco is playing like a legitimate MVP candidate thus far and Thursday Night could be one of those "stat booster" games.


Ravens coach John Harbaugh has been doing what all great coaches do when their team is about to face an obvious weaker opponent. Harbaugh has talked up the Browns all week to both the media and his team, and is not looking past the inferior Browns. On paper, the Ravens are severely the better team, but if there is one thing we have all learned as NFL and sports fans in general, games are not played on paper, they are played on the field and Thursday Night will be no different.


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