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Regular Season Game 3 - Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns

Doesn't that logo just make you sick as soon as you see it? We're already 0-2 on the season, and haven't looked too good in either of our losses. If we can defeat the 2-0 Ratbirds and their No. 1 run defense at home, the hope we had in the season will be revived, seeing as the Oakland Raiders are on our schedule next week. And how's this for another incentive to win: if the Cincinnati Bengals handle the Pittsburgh Steelers today, and the Browns beat the Ravens, then we will be above the Steelers in the standings due to a divisional tiebreaker. Heading into this game, the Browns may not stack up very well in the position-by-position analysis, as you'll see below, but it'll be our will to win that keeps us in the game. Today's game starts at 4:05 PM EST.
- Quarterback
Steve McNair is a solid quarterback, but he has historically had his ups and downs against the Browns. More recently, he has not been able to pick apart our defense as he used to, when he was with the Tennessee Titans. McNair still has mobility, as does Charlie Frye. Frye will have to make quick, but smart decisions, because Baltimore's defense will not give him a whole lot of time to throw. McNair will have time to throw, which may ultimately be his downfall. Our linebackers will contain him from breaking off and big runs. The Ravens will run the ball more than they pass it anyways, meaning Frye has a legitimate chance at besting McNair in this game.
- Running Back
If the Browns are able to manage anything significant in the running game against the Ravens, it'll be a surprise. It actually should not be too hard for Droughns to still have his best day of the season, because that's how bad our ground game has been thus far (meaning, a lackluster 40-yard performance or something). The Browns' run defense has been vulnerable, and although we've had success against Jamal Lewis in our most recent encounters, he has a chance to crack the 100-yard rushing mark. Musa Smith is a powerful backup for the Ravens, and they clearly have the edge in the running game.
- Receiver
In terms of talent, the Browns still have the edge on the Ravens with our receiving group. Braylon Edwards has not played well the past two games, but the ability he has shown in the past is good enough for the Browns to have an edge. The Ravens are not notoriously known for their passing game, so the only teams Baltimore may beat in this category are the Bills or the Buccaneers. Todd Heap is the Ravens' best threat, which is countered by Kellen Winslow on the Browns.
- Offensive Line
Last week, the Browns did not surrender a sack, and Frye was not pressured too often. The Browns were not called for any holding or false start penalties if I recall correctly, which means that our offensive line may have gained some more chemistry after a week or so. The Ravens' offensive line is still good, but not nearly as good as it used to be. Jonathan Ogden is questionable with a hyperextended right knee, meaning Kamerion Wimbley could have a better match-up than he did last week.
- Defensive Line
In the first defensive category, it's a no-brainer that this belongs to the Ravens. The Ravens have only allowed an average of 1.7 yards-per-carry through the first two games, while the Browns have not been able to plug the line as we thought they'd be able to. Just listen to these names, and tell me our defensive line is even close to theirs in talent: Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Kelly Gregg, and Trevor Pryce. Making things worse, our best defensive lineman, Orpheus Roye, will not play due to injury.
- Linebacker
Although Ray Lewis is no doubt the strength of the Ravens' linebackers, Adalius Thomas and Bart Scott aren't too bad either. On paper, the Browns' group of linebackers, featuring Willie McGinest and Andra Davis, should be playing better than they are. However, with the odd injury scenario involving McGinest and the struggles our group has had with blitzing, it's clear that youngsters like D'Qwell Jackson and Kamerion Wimbley still need a couple of games until this unit reaches its peak.
- Secondary
Unfortunately, for the third straight defensive unit, the Brown are dominated. It'd be a different story if Daylon McCutcheon and Gary Baxter were healthy, but without either of them, Ralph Brown is suddenly pushed into the starting lineup. No matter how well Sean Jones, Brodney Pool, and Leigh Bodden play, the simple fact that Brown is in there means McNair will be throwing to him all day. Hopefully, the Browns trust Bodden in one-on-one match-ups all day, and give Brown some help with double coverage. The Ravens are stacked with Chris McAlister, Samari Rolle, and Ed Reed in the secondary.
- Special Teams
For the third straight week in a row, the Browns take the advantage in the special teams department. How exciting, right? We have one of the best units in the league, as has been shown by our solid pursuement on coverage teams, our return game, the punting of Dave Zastudil, and the kickoffs of Phil Dawson. Matt Stover is a solid veteran for the Ravens, and B.J. Sams is often a threat to break a big one. Interesting note: the Browns have scored on special teams in two of our past three meetings against the Ravens.
FINAL PREDICTION: Cleveland Browns 17, Baltimore Ravens 9.
Although it was hard to pick up on last week, the Browns still have a good bend-but-don't-break defense, especially down near the red zone. Jamal Lewis will get the Ravens down the field on several occasions, but Baltimore will have to settle for a trio of field goals. The Browns' offense will not light it up, but we'll make the appropriate plays to Edwards and Winslow early in the game to establish a lead for the first time this season. The Ravens will be driving with the ball late in the fourth quarter, but an interception by - Ralph Brown of all people, will preserve the game.

This is the official gameday thread for today's game. Any comments you would like to make before, during, or after the game should be placed into this thread. Enjoy the game, and GO BROWNS!