TV Schedule: Sunday, Nov. 3, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: FirstEnergy Stadium
Weather: High 50, Low 40
Line: Baltimore (-2.5)
One year removed from a Super Bowl victory, the Baltimore Ravens are looking like they forgot how to play at a high level. Although they 3-5 and in second place in the AFC North, the Ravens have still struggled this season especially on offense. Joe Flacco was paid big time in the offseason but hasn’t quite performed up to expectations, losing his favorite receiver, Anquan Boldin, this season. Flacco has 1,917 yards but just eight touchdown passes to go along with that. While Jacoby Jones was injured early in the season, attributing to the poor touchdown rate from Flacco, Torrey Smith has single-handedly kept the pass game above water. Smith has 31 catches for 629 yards but just one touchdown on the season. Ray Rice has been the epitome of a struggling running back, rushing for just 242 yards and three scores with just a 2.8 yards per carry mark.
On the other side of the field, the Cleveland Browns were one of the surprises of the NFL just a few short weeks ago. They began the season with an 0-2 record and then reeled off three-straight wins before losing three straight after quarterback Brian Hoyer suffered a season-ending injury. Hoyer replaced Brandon Weeden after the first few weeks and led the team to its first victories before exiting due to a knee injury. Jason Campbell is now the starter and he will need to play like he did a week ago in a close loss if the Browns want to have success as he passed for 293 yards and two touchdowns on 22 of 36 passing. Jordan Cameron remains the team’s top receiver as a tight end, catching 49 passes for 596 yards and six touchdowns — one of the best tight ends in the league. The run game is nearly non-existent behind Willis McGahee‘s 2.9 yards per carry.
Defensively, the Ravens were one of the best teams a year ago, but have since tapered off a bit, ranking 16th in the league in total yards allowed per game. They seem to be an average defense in the NFL this year. Although the Browns rank 15th in the league in points allowed per game, they allowed the seventh-lest total yards per game as well as the sixth-least passing yards per game — bad news for Flacco.
PREDICTION: Ravens 24, Browns 21