[Inhales deeply] Ahhh! There’s nothing like the smell of imminent nationally televised embarrassment in the morning!
The Ravens are one of those teams that you really can’t get a true read on. They started 3-0 and looked solid. They then lost three straight, including blowing a beautiful comeback against the then-unbeaten Vikings. They then handed the Broncos their first loss in a big way. And then Cincinnati beat them again. So, the Ravens are an odd 4-4. Not that that matters much tonight. Without further ado…
The Browns Will Win If…
Craig: …Brady Quinn and the offense have developed over the bye week. The Browns will need to find a threat on offense amongst Quinn, Harrison, Stuckey, Massoquai, Robiskie, Cribbs at running back, Chris Jennings, etc. Honestly though, I am just hoping beyond hope that the Browns find a way to compete in this game. Winning is officially secondary to not getting embarrassed.
Scott: …they can make Joe Flacco make mistakes, and somehow manage to not make any themselves. I’m still not convinced that Flacco is as good of a quarterback as some others are attempting to make me believe – similar to Ben Roethlisberger being “elite,” but that’s a whole other discussion. If the Browns can somehow neutralize Ray Rice (who has done most of his damage through the air and in second halves), while not throwing INTs or losing fumbles, we could at least be competitive. Unfortunately, our punter is dinged up and we may have to live via returns and field goals to put points on the board. If the Browns can pull this out, those that bet the “under” will be very happy.
DP: …they scored 35 points on special teams and/or defense. There’s no other way. It would help if the Browns spent the bye week actually preparing and working on NOT TURNING THE BALL OVER FOUR TIMES A GAME. But, no matter how rosy-colored the glasses I wear, unless the Browns kick return unit scores three or four times and the defense scores once or twice, there’s literally no way the Browns’ offense will win this game.
RockKing: …I don’t know. Every week doing these gets a little bit more difficult to do. I suppose there are reasons for hope. The Browns stunned the Giants on MNF last year. Derek Anderson is no longer the Browns starting QB. Josh Cribbs. The fact the Ravens have been playing quite poorly as of late (having lost 4 of 5 since shredding the Browns earlier in the season). But I long ago gave up on hope and reason with this team. They have no playmakers, they don’t even have very many quality role players. This is a team full of scrubs playing for a coach that seems thoroughly overwhelmed. I sense another whipping at the hands of the Ravens. Hope I’m wrong, though. Go Browns?
Rick: …they are able to play some ball control football. The last three games we have trailed in time of possession by 15, 12 and 13 minutes respectively. It all comes down to converting your third downs. If we can keep the defense off the field for spells maybe we do have a chance. Create a turnover or two and the Browns could win. Do I think that is going to happen? Not really, but it would sure be nice to see.
Denny: …if Ray Lewis (allegedly) stabs people who walk in late and gets thrown out of the game. And then Jamal Lewis lets his old buddy Ed Reed spear-tackle Eric Mangini, and Reed gets thrown out of the game. And Ngata eats the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is too full to move. And… well I don’t know the rest of their starters on D, but they all need to not show up too. Even if that happens I doubt this Browns offense will score points. So I don’t know – maybe our D needs to knock out all of their starters on offense. Even then, it’s Michigan week, and we know Troy Smith likes to drop the boom during Michigan week. I’m not so sure about this one :[
What say, there, fuzzy britches?