Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
Date and Time: Sunday, 9/21/14 at 1:00pm on CBS
Game Line: Baltimore Ravens -1.5 (from WagerWeb)
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Sunday NFL Football Analysis: While the Ray Rice saga is slowly removing itself from the Baltimore Ravens’ identity, the teams running game looks like it hasn’t missed a beat. Bernard Pierce and Justin Forsett manning a backfield that has rushed for 251 yards in two weeks. It isn’t a massive number and ranks sixth in the AFC, but it’s a total it took John Harbaugh’s team four weeks to reach in 2013. Pierce ran for 96 yards, a total Rice surpassed once last season, on 22 carries in a 26-6 win over Pittsburgh on September 11 and will start at running back for a third straight week. Forsett will play a reserve role after the duo combined for 152 yards on 30 carries against Pittsburgh last weekend. Baltimore’s pass to run ratio was 29-to-36 last weekend against Pittsburgh after being 62-to-20 the previous week, a much more balanced attack is something the Ravens are going to need going forward, especially with their lack of talent at receiver. The Browns on the other hand are coming off of one of their most impressive team wins in recent history, a 26-24 home win against the Saints. The Browns snapped an eight game losing streak with the victory and are one of four teams entering Week 3 without a turnover. Cleveland has been even better than Baltimore on the ground with 152.5 yards per game and the fifth best yards per carry mark in the league despite being without starting running back Ben Tate for most of it. Terrance West has taken over and run for 168 yards on 35 carries since Tate injured his knee in week one. The Browns held New Orleans to 237 passing yards, roughly 90 yards under the Saints’ average of 325.9 over their previous 30 regular season games. Their defense is much improved and they have a bend but don’t break mentality on defense like a poor man’s version of the Seattle Seahawks. Cleveland has been doing a lot of small things right early in the season and is flying under the radar but a big week 3 win against division rival Baltimore will prove they are no slouch and should be taken seriously in the AFC North for the first time in years.
Sunday NFL Week 3 Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Free Picks: Cleveland +1.5 and over 42
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Game Prediction: 24-21 Browns
What to expect in this Week 3 NFL Football match up: If Cleveland can continue doing what they did last weekend against the Saints, they will turn some heads as this season goes on. They don’t commit penalties, they don’t turn the ball over, they play very well against the pass and they have good balance on offense. They may not have many household names on either side of the football but they’ve been playing the game the right way and not shooting themselves in the foot. At home, against a familiar foe, look for this trend to continue and the Browns to be in unfamiliar territory, above .500.