The Baltimore Ravens are coming off one of their best defensive performances since 2009, which happens to be the last time the franchise posted their last shutout. Forcing five turnovers and compiling five sacks in the beat down of the Cincinnati Bengals, this was a great debut by the Ravens. In the Browns’ loss to the Steelers, they have now lost their thirteenth straight home opener since returning to the league in 1999, but they kept it competitive, only losing 18-20. The rookie quarterback, Deshone Kizer, looked comfortable, throwing for 220 yards, a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown, but facing this Ravens defense will truly test the rookie.
How The Browns Win:
The Browns have nowhere near the talent on offense the Ravens have, but they do contain some decent young talent. The most important takeaway from the Browns-Steelers game was that they never quit. Within the third quarter, the Browns were down 21-10, but were able to score 8 more points to give themselves a fighting chance late in the game. The Browns have a chance to win this game by taking what the defense gives them. This was evident in week one for the Ravens, as they allowed the Bengals were able to get into the red zone, although the Ravens were more efficient at forcing turnovers.
The mobility of Kizer should cause problems for the Ravens, as scrambling QB’s have given the Ravens fits in the past. The one asset for the defense is that Joe Flacco still looks to be dealing with back issues, and may be limited throughout this game.
DE Myles Garrett (Out)
How The Ravens Win:
The Ravens may have found their winning formula last week by rushing the ball 42 times and only throwing the ball 17 times, with no passes attempted in the fourth quarter. The Ravens rushing attack was able to keep the Bengals offense off the field and keep them out of rhythm. The Ravens, however, will need to start to open up the offense a bit if they are going to get ready for the Raiders and Steelers on the horizon. The Ravens defense needs to continue to be opportunistic and cause turnovers, but will need to change how they get to the quarterback if Kizer starts making plays with his feet. The defense has shown what it can be for the whole season, but the offense, especially the passing game, needs to get into sync this game.
CB Jaylen Hill (Out) WR Micheal Campanaro (Quest.)
CB Sheldon Price (Out) (Placed on IR) OLB Tim Williams (Quest.)
DE Za’Darius Smith (Out)
Prediction: Ravens 27, Browns 14