The Baltimore Ravens (1-1) hope to get back on track offensively when they visit the Cleveland Browns (0-1) in their home opener on Sunday. The Ravens (-11 on the NFL point spreads) have scored just two touchdowns combined in two games so far this season while the Browns are averaging two touchdowns per game.
Baltimore’s defense has returned to dominant form again this year, which has enabled the team to hold the opposition without a touchdown. The Ravens have surrendered just eight field goals on the season and allowed only one field goal to Cleveland in two meetings a year ago.
The Browns were outscored 50-3 by Baltimore last season and will need to be ready for a breakout performance from the Ravens offense. Cleveland is giving up 129.5 rushing yards per game so far, and Baltimore averaged 130 rushing yards against the Browns last year.
Ravens running back Ray Rice rushed for 87 yards on 16 carries last week in their 15-10 loss at Cincinnati after totaling 43 on 21 attempts in the season-opening 10-9 win over the Jets. Rice failed to break the 100-yard mark against Cleveland last season though, averaging 68.5 yards in the two wins.
However, Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco has been a bigger disappointment for the offense with five interceptions and only one touchdown pass in two games. Flacco exploded for 342 passing yards in the first meeting with the Browns last year and followed that up with 155 in the second game. He has yet to fully utilize new wide receivers Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the passing game. Houshmandzadeh came over from Seattle at the end of the preseason and has just one catch for 27 yards in two games while Boldin has been more productive with 12 catches for 145 yards, but he had only five for 35 last week vs. Cincy.
The Browns will likely be giving Seneca Wallace his second straight start due to a sprained ankle for Jake Delhomme, who suffered the injury in a 17-14 loss to Tampa Bay in the season opener. Wallace struggled a bit last week in a 16-14 home loss to Kansas City, completing 16 of 31 passes for 229 yards with one touchdown and an interception that was returned 31 yards for a score by Brandon Flowers.
Cleveland has dropped the last four meetings with the Ravens both straight-up and against the spread, with the total going UNDER in the last two. Baltimore is 7-1 ATS in its last eight September games, with the loss taking place last week against the Bengals. The UNDER is also 9-2-1 in Baltimore’s last 12 games against AFC opponents.
We have no opinion on this game from a side or total perspective but we do have our 20 unit NFL Game of the Month going on Sunday. We nailed week 2 with a 4-1 mark for our members and this week should be another profitable one. Get this play by visiting our NFL predictions page of the site.