Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns: Game Preview


It has been quite a season for the Baltimore Ravens here in 2014. They have seen season ending injuries, career years by no-name players, Joe Flacco elevate his game to new heights and much more. However, that season could all come to an end on Sunday.

With the loss last week to the Houston Texans, the Ravens no longer control their own destiny. If they come out victorious in this game, they will be keeping a close eye on the game in Missouri between the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs, which kicks off at 4:25 pm.

In order for the Ravens to avoid missing the playoffs for a second straight year, they will have to take care of business at home against Cleveland and hope that the 8-7 Kansas City Chiefs can pull out a victory at home against the 9-6 Chargers — who hold the tiebreaker over the Ravens. It’s going to be an interesting week,one that could come to a consummation about 8:00 pm on Sunday night.

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Before they can worry about any other games though, the Ravens will have to focus on the task at hand. With Johnny Manziel ruled out for the season finale due to a hamstring injury, the original starting quarterback Brian Hoyer might not be up to playing either. He is currently battling injuries to his shoulder and biceps, and he is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. However, it looks like he will not participate in this game.

With that being said, third-string quarterback Connor Shaw is slated to make his first career start. For the second straight week, the Ravens will be playing a team with multiple injured quarterbacks, so let’s hope they can take care of business this time around.

Here’s my prediction for Sunday’s action: I hate to be a downer, but I don’t think the Ravens will be participating in the 2014 postseason. They will beat Cleveland, but I don’t see Kansas City pulling the victory out against the Chargers. The reason I say that is because the Chiefs have just announced that starting quarterback Alex Smith will miss the season finale due to a lacerated spleen. With quarterback Chase Daniels under center, I don’t think the Ravens chances go up very much.

I’m not saying it isn’t possible, because after all Smith is just a game manager. He might not be the difference maker, but he has led the charge for Kansas City this season. Without him, I don’t have much confidence in the Chiefs pulling this victory out. But hey, this is the NFL, and I’ve seen much crazier things occur before.