NFL Game Previews: Ravens-Browns Matchup

NFL Game Previews: Ravens-Browns Matchup

This article is part of our NFL Game Previews series.

Baltimore at Cleveland (+1), o/u 46.5 – Monday, 8:15 p.m. EST

The Ravens probably can't afford a loss here. The AFC North is already out of reach, and at 7-5 they're not even in a wild-card spot at present. There's a good chance a 10-win team won't make the playoffs this year in the conference, and even though the rest of their schedule looks very winnable (vs. JAC, vs. NYG, at CIN), they could well be the ones to draw that short straw. On the bright side, Baltimore's running game is finally getting back to its 2019 form. Steamrolling the Cowboys almost doesn't count, but  Gus Edwards, Lamar Jackson and rookie J.K. Dobbins have put up big numbers in recent weeks. The roster is also mostly recovered from its COVID-19 wave, with Dez Bryant's positive test right before last week's game basically acting as the punchline to an unfunny joke. The Ravens did crush the Browns in Week 1, but the team they face Monday is very different from that one. Cleveland's playing very well, though it seemed to take last week's huge first half by Baker Mayfield to get a lot of people to notice, and at 9-3 they still have a shot at their first division title since 1989 (Clay Matthews' dad, Clay Jr., was among the team leaders in tackles that year, and Ozzie Newsome hadn't hung them up and moved into a front-office job yet) if Pittsburgh falls apart down the

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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