After opening the season with two straight defeats at home, the Cleveland Browns open their road schedule in Baltimore Sunday, where last season they needed the aid of replay on the final play of regulation to get another chance and win in overtime 33-30.
However, don't expect the Ravens to roll over and give up tons of points and huge chunks of yardage like they did last season when both of their starting cornerbacks missed most of the season due to injuries. After unexpectedly receiving an early Bye last week due to the devastation from Hurricane Ike in Houston, Baltimore is well rested and healthy on all fronts as they prepare to exact revenge against their former namesakes.
All summer I have been touting Cleveland''s surprising 2006 10-6 season as a fluke and even predicted a 26-20 Ravens victory in this game in my individual game predicitons earlier this summer in my blog over at www.BaltimoreBeatdown.com. So far, based on the results, it's looking rough for the Browns and their fans. At the same time, these losses have come against two of the tougher teams in the NFL, but with both of them being at home you'd expect the Browns to have at least split if they want to be considered a contender this season. That didn't happen and although they may no longer be mentioned among the league's elite teams, it still remains to be seen if the Ravens can defeat a team that swept them last season.
For whatever reason, the Ravens are actually a 1.5 point favorite in this game, even with last year's two victories by the Browns. I can only guess that the oddsmakers are looking at the rest the Ravens have been given as well as their impressive defensive showing in week one, even if it was against the hapless Cincinnati Bengals. At the same time, even against tough competition, the Browns have looked lackluster themselves and their defense only seemd to look half decent against the Steelers, helped in part by Mother Nature more than their own personnel.
All in all, this post is meant to begin the mutual trash talking between two sets of rabid fans, as my predicition earlier this summer of a Ravens victory over the Browns on my blog generated over 100 comments from some of the most loyal fans in all sports. So there, Dawg Pound, is some props for you guys, and let's see how you bring it over at my site!