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  1. #1
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    Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns (4:25 EST Start Time)

    The Browns appear to be on the rise heading into the second half of the season because of the renewed hope veteran quarterback Jason Campbell provided this past weekend in his first start with the franchise, a 23-17 loss on the road against the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs.

    Meanwhile, the defending Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens have been struggling to find their way and are more vulnerable than in recent memory.

    The Browns (3-5) will have a chance to capitalize when they face the Ravens (3-4) at 4:25 p.m. Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium. Both AFC North rivals have losing streaks, the Browns three games and the Ravens two.

    The Ravens defeated the Browns 14-6 in Week 2, when quarterback Brandon Weeden started and suffered a sprained right thumb in the fourth quarter. Campbell entered the game with 3:34 left deep in the Browns’ territory and didn’t do much to inspire, completing 1-of-4 passes for 6 yards, the result of an underhanded toss on fourth-and-10.

    Campbell, though, was much better Sunday against the Chiefs, who have the NFL’s fifth-ranked defense. He completed 22-of-36 passes (61 percent) for 293 yards and two touchdowns without an interception, posted a passer rating of 105.4 and took just one sack. He provided the offense with a lift, earned the start against the Ravens and gave the Browns a new outlook moving forward.

    Still, Campbell and Co. will need to overcome psychological hurdles to play well enough to prevail in the final game before their Week 10 bye. The Ravens have defeated the Browns in 11 consecutive games, meaning quarterback Joe Flacco and coach John Harbaugh have yet to lose in the series. The Ravens are also coming off their bye and are 5-0 following the bye during Harbaugh’s tenure.

    Jeff Zrebiec covers the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun. He discussed the team in the following question-and-answer session:

    Q: What are the main concerns the Ravens are facing coming off their bye?

    A: “Honestly, it’s a pretty long list. Aside from generating a steady pass rush, their return game and the right leg of kicker Justin Tucker, the Ravens really haven’t done anything consistently well this year. But just to focus on their main concerns, I think the biggest one is their inability to run the football. They are 27th in rushing yards per game (74.0) and 32nd in yards per carry (2.8). Those numbers pretty much speak for themselves. While the Ravens were at their best during the postseason run last year when they opened up the offense and relied on Joe Flacco’s arm, they still need to run the ball to set up other things. The offensive line play has also been subpar for most of the season. There have not been enough holes for running back Ray Rice and Flacco is getting hit too much. On defense, the Ravens haven’t been able to stop the run in three of the past four games. That was not expected to be a problem after they beefed up their defensive line but it has been lately.”

    Q: What’s wrong with Rice this season?

    A: “It’s a combination of things. One, I don’t think Rice has been healthy. He only missed one game with the hip injury, but it has clearly lingered. Rice hasn’t had the explosiveness or the elusiveness that he’s had in past seasons and the injury is probably the most logical explanation. He did look better against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the last game, and I’m sure the bye week helped him as well. I also think the Ravens have made sure to get backup Bernard Pierce involved, so Rice has never really got into a rhythm. He has more than 15 carries in a game just once this season. That’s not a recipe that is going to allow a guy like that to be very successful. And finally, the run blocking hasn’t been good. There haven’t been a lot of holes for Rice or Pierce to run through.”

    Q: What reasons might there be to think the Ravens will have a stronger second half of the season?

    A: “One of the characteristics of a John Harbaugh-coached team over the previous five seasons is that it really improves as the season goes on. This year’s team hasn’t shown that yet, but the Ravens are coming off a bye, they feel like their offensive line was solidified with the acquisition of left tackle Eugene Monroe and they are getting healthier. The Ravens had so much turnover from last season and so many new faces playing key roles. The expectation is that the chemistry between Flacco and his pass catchers will get better and better with more game experience and the defense will clean up some of the communication issues that arose earlier this season from having so many new guys.”

    Q: Which matchup should the Ravens worry about most when they face the Browns?

    A: “The Ravens are effusive in their praise of the Browns’ front seven. Nose tackle Phil Taylor and outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard are two guys that have given the Ravens problems in the past. Taylor against first-year starting center Gino Gradkowski, who has struggled this season, is obviously not a matchup that favors the Ravens. The Ravens have also struggled to cover tight ends, so Jordan Cameron could be in for a big day.”

    Q: Can you finish this thought: The Ravens won’t be upset by the Browns as long as … ?

    A: “They protect Flacco and contain the Browns up front. Flacco rarely puts up eye-popping numbers against the Browns, but he always does just enough to beat them. Flacco appeared to finally get in a decent rhythm late in the Ravens’ last game, so if he is well protected and the Ravens are able to run the ball a little bit, he should be able to pick up where he left off.”
    http://www.ohio.com/sports/browns/fr...avens-1.440824

    Another game that is going to come down to the defense and the offense just trying not to make mistakes (looking at you Bess). Need to get pressure once again on Flacco and try having Baltimore forget that they have Ray Rice in the backfield. Need to contain Rice once he does get into space out of the backfield as well as this looks like another tough RB matchup in not the running game but the passing game (looking at you Robertson).

    Sorry to see you go Wiggy. Should have went to FSU.

  2. #2
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    I'll honestly be disappointed if we lose this game. I think the Ravens are still a quality team but I think we have enough talent to beat them. For us to continue making steps forward we need to be able to start beating division opponents at home. We did that against Cincinnati, let's hope we can do the same with Baltimore.

  3. #3
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    Definitely a winnable game. Really glad we didn't trade Gordon or Cameron and also glad we won't be seeing Bess on any more punt returns

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chauncey View Post
    Definitely a winnable game. Really glad we didn't trade Gordon or Cameron and also glad we won't be seeing Bess on any more punt returns
    Wouldn't punt returns be a good thing to see?.. As in, the defense stopped the opposition's offense making them punt?..

    ...to continue making steps forward ...
    Three L's in a row isn't a step forward..

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeronimoSon View Post
    Wouldn't punt returns be a good thing to see?.. As in, the defense stopped the opposition's offense making them punt?..



    Three L's in a row isn't a step forward..
    Yes, punts to Armanti Edwards. Bess will not/should not be returning punts.
    [/B]I am a Pit Puritan.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeronimoSon View Post
    Wouldn't punt returns be a good thing to see?.. As in, the defense stopped the opposition's offense making them punt?..



    Three L's in a row isn't a step forward..
    I find it hard to believe that you'd be so dense as to misinterpret what I posted and thus are just trolling now...

  7. #7
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    The Browns will win this game 17 to 14.We will stop Ray Rice under a hundred yards.
    Here comes the NEW BROWNS!!!

  8. #8
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    Nice complete game by Campbell. Good to see the Browns had Bees and not Bizzaro Bess.

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    Where are the haters? Geronimo?
    Here comes the NEW BROWNS!!!

  10. #10
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    Great game from Campbell and a very well coached game from Chud and the coordinators. Loved the aggressiveness we played with today. It wasn't always pretty but when it mattered most our boys stepped up to the challenge.

  11. #11
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    Great game guys. Clearly this is not the Ravens of old right now with a lack of offensive scheme and no running game. You guys have some great pieces on that team both offensively and defensively. Much deserved win for you!

    And not to have bad blood or sound like a whiner, but gosh I hate Little. He seems like he complains every play!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bal_ravens View Post
    Great game guys. Clearly this is not the Ravens of old right now with a lack of offensive scheme and no running game. You guys have some great pieces on that team both offensively and defensively. Much deserved win for you!

    And not to have bad blood or sound like a whiner, but gosh I hate Little. He seems like he complains every play!
    He does have some growing up to do still. I hope this is his breakout game. I was impressed with how aggresive he was attacking the football in the air. It was awesome when he stole that catch from Gordon. I am surprised Little didn't get a contact buzz being that close to Gordon on the play. JK! Great game by Little though. It was a cheesy call on the taunting penalty to Little though. I have seen much worse. It also looked like Taylor and Rice settled their differences. They patted each other after almost every play. Good thing that they don't play for Schiano. I really liked the way that Campbell played. Baltimores defense is not the same old, but they are not bad at all and Jason seemed to find a little space to throw the ball. I also love how Bess kept fighting to get open and make plays. On to Mcgahee, Come on man!, not a very good outing! It was a chance to make a statement against his former team, the only thing he did was give them a Christmas present by handing them the ball. I want to see more of Whittaker and Ogs running the ball. Whittaker is very fast and he could be a gem. I also want to see Edwards get the ball on some designed reverses and runs. The kid is a freak athelete and is used right, could be a steal. I think that after the bye week, we will see some opportunities for him. We are one game back from the NY football Jets for the 6th spot. We have some winnable games left. This could get interesting. Also, the Bengals have two up on us. We play them off of the bye and if we win, that puts us one down and gives us the tiebreaker if we end up with the same record. Anything can happen!!! Here we go Browns!!!!!
    Here comes the NEW BROWNS!!!

  13. #13
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    Well a great weekend for me with FSU staying dominate on Saturday night and the Brownies getting a huge W on Sunday and ending an 11 game skid. Defense showed up very well yesterday (especially Chris Owens with some great tackles and sack) and then Horton having a great gameplan to get pressure on Flacco looking like the D from the early part of the season and not the DET/GB games. Really surprised that Rice was once again not the centerpiece of the Ravens O but the Browns run defense completely took him out of the game from the get go.

    Never want to see Weeden on the field ever again. Campbell please don't go down anytime soon again. Wish the FO would bring in a more capable QB right now during the Bye week to back up Campbell instead of relying on Weeden as he is just completely shot as a football player right now.

    No running game against yesterday (really wish they would get Whitaker and Ogs more touches) but there were not any mistakes on the offensive end. Little and Bess coming up with some great catches and some great JUKES and YAC.

    Browns 4-1 when Brandon Weeden doesn't start.

    Sorry to see you go Wiggy. Should have went to FSU.

  14. #14
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    http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/20...ravens-player/

    After seeing this Little throwing the helmet yesterday makes a lot more sense. Still think he needs to do a better job of keeping his composure but it's hard for me to criticize him here because I likely would have reacted in the same manner. The other taunting penalty on him was very ticky-tacky so I wasn't too upset about that.

  15. #15
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    The Cleveland Browns got good news on the injury front the day after their 24-18 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

    LittleCampbell X-rays were negative on quarterback Jason Campbell. He has bruised ribs and may be able to practice during this bye week, coach Rob Chudzinski said.

    Wide receiver Greg Little has a sprained shoulder and is listed as day-to-day.

    Both injuries looked like they could have easily been worse. But both could be on the practice field Tuesday when the Browns return.

    Chudzinski spoke very highly on a conference call about what Campbell has brought to the Browns in his two starts.

    “I’m very happy that he’s OK, and he played really well,” Chudzinski said. “I think that you just look again at what he was able to do moving around and being able to extend plays, creating plays. Fourth downs, he was huge on; those were great throws and great plays he made. And Davone [Bess] made both in critical, critical situations.

    “You saw the leadership standpoint, the calmness out there, the ability on the final drive to make plays and extend that drive when that was crunch time and that was a critical point in the game. His presence with our younger guys, what he’s doing is really giving us a lift.”

    More than once Chudzinski used the word “calmness” referring to Campbell, and it’s appropriate. Campbell exudes a placid feeling that is very unusual for a quarterback. He’s comfortable with who he is, but he competes to the point that he would not leave the game despite being in serious pain.

    “Based on him grimacing and knowing it was bothering him, seeing him out there and continuing to push through it -- I know he’s tough,” Chudzinski said. “Talking and looking at him, there was no way he was going to come out of that game and miss out for his teammates.”

    Little was having his best game as a Brown, with seven catches for 122 yards, before he hurt his shoulder in the fourth quarter. Little’s aggressiveness going after the ball led to his success. He looked like the guy who was described when Tom Heckert drafted him -- a big, strong guy who could go get the ball and run after the catch.

    “That’s something that we talk about,” Chudzinski said. “When the ball is in the air, attacking the football and being strong to the ball. That’s the way he played.”
    http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth

    Good to hear on both.

    Sorry to see you go Wiggy. Should have went to FSU.

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