Today is a game that the Baltimore Ravens need for multiple reasons. Sitting at 1-3 and in the bottom of the AFC North, the Ravens can make a jump in the standings today with a win. The Cleveland Browns have played competitive football this season so this will not be a walk in the park for the Ravens.
The injuries have started to mount up for the Ravens as Joe Flacco will be without three wide outs that he thought would be his top playmakers. That leaves the Ravens with arguably the worst crop of wide receivers in team history so expect a lot of work from running back Justin Forsett. That no problem for the Ravens offense as the Browns rank 31st against the run this season. Forsett is coming off his best game of the season and a repeat performance will be key to a victory today.
The Cincinnati Bengals are hosting the Seattle Seahawks today, and Baltimore could really use some help from the Seahawks. The Bengals have taken a strong lead on the division out of the gate, but the Ravens can pick up some ground with a win and a Bengals loss. If the Pittsburgh Steelers lose on Monday night to the San Diego Chargers, Baltimore will be the only team to get a win in the division.
The Ravens have another round of back-to-back West Coast games looming which makes today’s game even more important. Obviously, they would like to win all three games and get back over .500. Realistically, they need two of three before the schedule lightens up in the second half of the season. That all starts with a win today.
When it comes down to it, this is a game where the Browns are coming to Baltimore after the Ravens have had extra time off to gamelan for them. John Harbaugh owns a 13-1 record against Cleveland and as always, the Browns are inept on offense in large part of their inability to get a quarterback that can lead the franchise.
Forsett comes into the game knowing that he will likely get more touches today than at any point thus far this season. That is likely the case for Lorenzo Taliaferro and Buck Allen as well with the Browns porous run defense. Expect Forsett to hit the 100-yard mark and I have a gut feeling that Allen makes one big play to help the cause.
It will be interesting to see how effective the passing game will fare with all the injuries. How much will we see of Chris Givens? Which receiver does Flacco look to on a crucial third down? Will the tight ends be utilized more than usual? We should get some answers to those questions today.
The Ravens should dominate possession with the focus being on the ground. Forsett should be able to carry the load and help lead the Ravens to their second win of the season today.
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