Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Cleveland Browns (0-2 0-2 ATS) vs. Baltimore Ravens (2-0 2-0 ATS) M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD 1 PM ET, September 27, 2009 on FOX
By Jason Green at

Point Spread: Browns +13.5/Ravens -13.5
Over/Under: 38.5

This Sunday (Week 3) the winless Browns attempt to get into the W column with a win over the undefeated and AFC North leading Baltimore Ravens. Last week the Ravens beat the San Diego Chargers 31-26 while the Browns were crushed by the Denver Broncos 27-6.

Even though Brady Quinn is the new QB of the Browns it is not helping, as the Browns are the same old Browns, which is a weak team on both ends of the ball. The Ravens have looked very un-Raven like, as their offense has been lighting up the scoreboard while their D is giving up more points than they are used to giving up because of a mediocre, at best, secondary.

In their win over the Chargers the Ravens were out-gained in total yardage 474 – 311, but they forced 2 turnovers and Ray Lewis stuffed the run on a 4th and 2 with the Chargers on the Ravens 15 yard line late in the game to preserve the win. The Chargers were favored by 1 point, so the Ravens covered the spread and whoever bet the Over was a happy camper since both teams combined for 57 points in the game.

To say the Broncos dominated the Browns in their win is an understatement, as the Broncos had more total yards (449 to 200), passing yards (263 to 146), rushing yards (186 to 54), and first downs (25 to 11). The big stat that the Browns did lead in is what they did not want to in turnovers (3 to 1). The Browns did kick 2 field goals in the 1st quarter, but after that they did not score while the Broncos scored 20 points. The Browns were underdogs by 3 points and did not cover the spread and since the Browns only scored 6 points total of 38.5 was not reached.

The Browns offense is struggling big time, as they are averaging a league-worst 234.0 yards per game. To make matters worse RB Jamal Lewis (95 yards), who is only averaging 3.8 yards per carry, is doubtful in this game with a hamstring injury.

Whoever starts at RB for the Browns will have the tough task of trying to pick up yards against a tough Ravens run defense, as Baltimore leads the NFL in rush defense only allowing 41 yards per game. Nasty!

Since the Browns rushing attack, if you can call it that, may be without their starting RB it will put more pressure on Brady Quinn (366 yards 1 TD 2 INT) to score, which is far from a good thing. In their first 2 games the Browns are only averaging 162.5 passing yards per game.

The one chance that the Browns have to pull off the big upset this Sunday is if Brady has a big game. The Raven’s are 2-0, but their secondary has been pretty bad giving up an average of 242 yards per game. Even though they faced David Rivers last week in week 1 they faced the untested Brodie, who had a good game going 16/24 for 177 yards with 2 TD.

The Ravens offense, led by Joe Flacco (497 yds 5 TD 2 INT), is firing on all cylinders, as they are averaging almost 30 points per game and they are averaging 406 total yards per game.

The Ravens have been winning with a well-rounded offense, as the RB duo of Ray Rice (144 yds) and Willis McGahee (123 yds 3 TD) are getting it done. These guys may get a lot of carries in this game considering that the Browns are giving up an average of 205.5 yards per game on the ground.

The Ravens have won 7 of 10 games at home all-time against the Browns.

Jason’s Pick: Hmmm, can you guess by reading the article and looking at the stats which team I will pick. Even with the big 13.5-point spread the Browns are out-matched in every category and are not playing good football while the Ravens have started the season on fire. I do not see Quinn having a big game, which he has never done in his young career, and since the Ravens are playing great and are at home they will easily win this game, cover the spread, and move to 3-0. I’ll throw out 27-0 as a final score prediction. Yep, GOOSE EGG for the Brownies.