Craig: So now that the negativity from week one has been exhausted, how does everyone feel about the Browns’ chances to bounce back against a Ravens team that got their faces pounded against Denver. Michael Oher is likely to be hobbled if not out. The Browns defense didn’t play horribly against Miami. The Ravens defense still has some pieces, but they are feeling the losses of Ray Lewis, Ellerbe and Ed Reed. Still, the Ravens are 6.5 point favorites last I heard. So how are you feeling?
Jacob: Not great. Ya know, TD’s buddy TA has been all over Twitter this week talking about bets and that 6.5-pt line. One of his main points: The Ravens just aren’t very good this year. He took the under on their overall season win total and picked the Broncos last week too. He sees major regression all over their 2013 season.
In the end, the Ravens still do have a lot of offensive firepower compared to the Browns. Joe Flacco is an above-average QB at least, Ray Rice is one of the better backs in the league and Torrey Smith continues to develop. Even without Anquan Boldin or Dennis Pitta, their offense will still be OK, especially compared to the anemic Browns of late.
I think this will be a close and mostly ugly game. But I just don’t trust the Browns offense yet to put up significant points, even against a changed Ravens defense. I’m going with Baltimore 24, Cleveland 17.
Andrew: After reading Rick’s film room, I’m not feeling great at all. I just can’t see the O-Line suddenly being dramatically better this week. And if Weeden feels pressured, well, we all know what happens. I think this could potentially be yet another ugly, sloppy, low scoring affair. Pretty much the same Browns game we’ve been watching for the last 5 years…So who said the negativity has been exhausted?
TD: I would feel a lot better had the Ravens not gotten blown out and embarrassed in Denver. It’s their home opener, they are raising their Super Bowl banner, they will be fire up. Plus, they had an extra three days to think about getting destroyed. I think the Browns D will keep it close, but the right side of the line play last Sunday against Miami is extremely concerning. I expect a low scoring affair, but a loss.
Scott: Was about to say the same thing, Andrew. If anything, Im more negative now than I was on Monday.
Baltimore may not be a Super Bowl contender this year, but they’re still better than the Browns. I would feel better if Cleveland could’ve “bounced back” against the Jets or Jags. Against the reigning champs on 10 days rest during their Home Opener minutes after getting their rings? No way.
Kirk: The Browns have hung tough in Baltimore of late. The defense gets Mingo back and can build on a lot of positives. Baltimore’s receiving depth is lousy, and Haden could shut down Torrey Smith. Still, unless the team commits to Richardson running enough and the offensive line drastically improves, its going to be a long day. Browns lose a close one, 20-13.
Rick: I think that the Ravens were exposed a bit against Manning and the Broncos. Unfortunately, the Browns are not the Broncos.
I just don’t think that you can improve your technique a great deal in a week. The mental part of the game could be improved. He could understand more what he is supposed to be doing at the guard position. He could cut down on mental mistakes, like false starts. I think the majority of his penalties were in an effort to avoid getting beaten on a given play. Those likely aren’t going away.
In short, I think the Browns are just hoping upon a star that Shaun Lauvao comes back next week.
The funny thing is that Browns fans were ready to throw Lauvao out after last season and go with anyone else. So, will him coming back be the answer?
So there you have it from the WFNY crew. What’re you thinking?