Time: 1:00 pm, Sunday, November 2, 2008
Location: Cleveland Browns Stadium
Network, Announcers: CBS- Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon
Line: Browns by two-and-a-half.
Team W/L Records: Cleveland is 3-4; the Ravens are 4-3
Coaches: Romeo Crennel is 23-32 in his fourth season with the Browns; John Harbaugh is 4-3 in his first season with the Ravens.
Last Week for the Browns: Bounced back from a week of dissention and controversy with a surprising 23-17 win over the Jaguars in Jacksonville.
Last Week for the Ravens: Trounced the Raiders, 29-10.
All-Time Series: Ravens lead, 12-7.
Last Meeting: Week Three- Derek Anderson imploded in the third quarter, almost single-handedly turning a 10-7 halftime lead into a 28-10 loss.
Out or Questionable for Baltimore: Safety Dawan Landry (neck) and tight end Daniel Wilcox (thigh) are out; cornerback Chris McAlister (knee) and cornerback Samari Rolle (neck) are doubtful; tackle Jared Gaither (neck), running back Willis McGahee (ankle), tackle Adam Terry (knee) and cornerback Frank Walker (thigh) are questionable.
Out or Questionable for Cleveland: Guard Ryan Tucker (knee) is on IR; running back Lawrence Vickers (ankle) is doubtful; safety Mike Adams (hamstring), safety Sean Jones (knee), linebacker Shantee Orr (foot), defensive end Corey Williams (shoulder) wide receiver Donte Stallworth (quadriceps) and defensive tackle Shaun Smith (hand) are questionable.
What to watch for the Ravens: I'm probably making too much of it, but keep an eye on Baltimore's use of the "Suggs Formation" featuring Cleveland's own Troy Smith as the single-wing tailback. The Ravens ran four plays out of the formation last week and cashed in for 75 yards, including a 43-yard bomb from Smith to Joe Flacco, split out wide. With Willis McGahee a little banged-up, a rookie quarterback on the road- and Flacco didn't exactly set the world on fire against the Browns in Week Three- it would make sense for Cam Cameron to mix a more liberal dose of the "Suggs Formation" into the game-plan for this Sunday. You like Troy Smith? You might see quite a bit of him in his homecoming.
What to watch for the Browns: Let's see how the Browns re-integrate Kellen Winslow into the lineup, and let's see how Derek Anderson performs with the mercurial #80 out on the field. Sample sizes are what they are, but it's hard to just ignore the fact that DA's two best games of the season- by far- came with K2 out of the lineup.
Good Past Win over the Ravens: September 30, 2007- Ex-Raven Derek Anderson threw two first-quarter touchdown passes- one a 78-yard bomb to Braylon Edwards- and ex-Raven Jamal Lewis scored on a one-yard plunge, as the Browns jumped out to a 24-3 lead and cruised home, 27-13.
Bad Past Loss to the Ravens: November 7, 1999- A week after winning their first game, the expansion Browns were slammed roughly back to earth, as they were out-gained 315-170 and punished on the ground, giving up 203 rushing yards, in a 41-9 Baltimore rout.
Next Week for Both Teams: Cleveland hosts the Broncos on Thursday night; the Ravens go to Houston.
Trivia: Tribe over Baltimore Orioles in 1997 ALCS; O's haven't had a winning season since. Browns', and city's, last championship at the expense of the Baltimore Colts. Cavaliers: 4-0 in postseason against the Artists Formerly Known as the Baltimore Bullets. Ever since the Spiders put a woodshed beating on the old Baltimore Orioles in the 1895 Temple Cup, Cleveland has had the upper hand on that den of iniquity on the Chesapeake. Even Baltimore football fans root for our "sloppy seconds." How's that for trivia?