Thanks to Cleveland’s dominant win over the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore’s shocking home loss to the Gardner Minshew-lead Indianapolis Colts, the game marks a battle of first-place teams in the AFC North.
The Browns have not found much success against the Ravens over the years, but Sunday’s game could be different as Cleveland’s defense is currently the league’s best in just about every metric imaginable, while the Ravens are dealing with numerous injuries across the roster.
A wildcard in all this is the throwing shoulder of Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson, which he hurt during the game against the Titans. Watson was limited in practice all week, and while he is confident he can go against the Ravens, anything is possible when it comes to shoulder injuries for Cleveland quarterbacks.
Win and the Browns head into their bye week at 3-1 and feeling fine. Lose and it is two weeks of agita with the San Francisco 49ers waiting on the other side.
Here is everything you need to know about Sunday’s game as the Browns look to run their home winning streak against the Ravens to three games.
Records: Cleveland is 2-1. Baltimore is 2-1.
Kickoff: 1 p.m.
Stadium: Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio.
Announcers: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis and Evan Washburn (sidelines)
Radio: ESPN 850, 92.3 The Fan, 98.5 WNCX, 89.1 FM La Mega (Spanish)
Announcers: Chris Rose, Nathan Zegura and Jerod Cherry (sidelines)
First meeting: The Ravens won the first meeting, 17-10, on September 26, 1999.
Last meeting: The Browns won the last meeting, 13-3, in Week 15 of the 2022 season.
All-time series: Baltimore leads the all-time series, 35-13, but the Browns have won two in a row at home against the Ravens.
Weather: 72 degrees and sunny, with a two percent chance of rain and wind from the north at 7 mph. (weather.com)
Uniform: The Browns will wear their always tasteful brown jersey and orange pants uniform set.
brown and seemingly orange for Sunday pic.twitter.com/yVupCY9uCv— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 29, 2023
Injury report: Browns - Questionable: Quarterback Deshaun Watson (shoulder). Ravens - Questionable: Safety Marcus Williams (pectoral), center Tyler Linderbaum (ankle), running back Justice Hill (foot) and safety Kyle Hamilton (back). Doubtful: Offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley (knee). Out: Wide receiver Rashod Bateman (hamstring), wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle), cornerback Marlon Humphrey (foot), outside linebacker David Ojabo (ankle/knee) and outside linebacker Odafe Oweh (ankle).
The line: Browns -1.5 (DraftKings)
Some Notes to Remember
- Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson has come out on the wrong side of the scoreboard in two prior meetings against the Ravens with Lamar Jackson at quarterback.
- The Browns have yet to allow a touchdown at home. If they can do it again on Sunday, they will join the 2006 Denver Broncos and the 2000 Miami Dolphins as just the third team to not allow a touchdown in their first three home games this century, according to ESPN.
- Cleveland cornerback Martin Emerson Jr. is allowing just 0.4 yards per coverage snap, the best in the league for outside cornerbacks that have played at least 75 snaps in coverage, according to ESPN.
- Baltimore is 18-3-1 against the spread as underdogs since 2018, and Jackson is 11-1-1 against the spread as an underdog, according to ESPN.
- Defensive end Myles Garrett, fresh off a three-and-a-half sack game against Tennessee, gets another favorable matchup this week as Baltimore left tackle Patrick Mekari has seen his pass-blocking grade drop from 79 in Week 1 to 55.8 in Week 3, according to Pro Football Focus.
- This week’s game poster is a tribute to Hall of Famer Joe Thomas, who will be enshrined, along with Mac Speedie into the team’s Ring of Honor at halftime:
- Running back Jerome Ford scored two touchdowns in his first game as a starter last week against the Titans.
- The Browns are averaging 160.7 rushing yards per game, which is currently good for fourth in the league.
- The Ravens are allowing 92.3 rushing yards per game, currently eighth best in the league.
- Baltimore tight end Mark Andrews has seven career touchdown receptions against the Browns, the most by any Ravens player against the Browns.
- The Ravens have recorded a sack in 24 consecutive games, currently the league’s longest streak.
- The Ravens have not been shut out since September 30, 2002, a streak of 339 games and currently the longest active streak in the NFL.
In Case You Missed It
A Final Quote
Head coach Kevin Stefanski on if he expects quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is questionable with a shoulder injury, will play on Sunday (quote via a team-provided transcript):
What are you looking for from the Browns in Sunday’s game against the Ravens?