Time: 8:30 pm, Monday, November 16, 2009
Location: Cleveland Browns Stadium
Network, Announcers: ESPN- Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden.
Line: Baltimore by eleven.
Team W/L Records: Cleveland is 1-7; Baltimore is 4-4
Coaches: Eric Mangini is 24-32 overall, 1-7 with the Browns; John Harbaugh is 15-9 in his second season with the Ravens.
Last Week for the Browns: On the bye.
Last Week for the Ravens: Lost for the second time to the Cincinnati Bengals, 17-7. Baltimore rushed for just 55 yards, fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter and never seriously threatened in losing for the fourth time in five games since a 3-0 start.
All-Time Series: Ravens lead, 14-7.
Last Meeting- September 27, 2009: Even by the standards of the 2009 Browns this one was ugly. The Ravens manhandled Cleveland in every area, out-gaining them 479-186, collecting 28 first downs to Cleveland's 11 and forcing four Browns turnovers as Baltimore rolled, 34-3. Brady Quinn was benched at halftime for Derek Anderson, who was rewarded for his three-interception second-half performance with the starting job.
Out or Questionable for Baltimore: CB Lardarius Webb (illness), RB Matt Lawrence (knee) and DT Haloti Ngata (ankle) are questionable.
Out or Questionable for Cleveland: DE Kenyon Coleman (groin), TE Michael Gaines (hamstring), G Rex Hadnot (knee), TE Steve Heiden (knee), RB Jamal Lewis (ankle), WR Chansi Stuckey (calf), RB Lawrence Vickers (hamstring) and P Dave Zastudil (right knee) are questionable.
What to watch for the Ravens: What is there to say? Baltimore is probably going to be a pissed-off team on Monday, what with its recent struggles. They'll be looking to get healthy against the awful Browns, and they in all likelihood will. The Ravens are vulnerable in spots- particularly at cornerback- but that really doesn't matter against this Cleveland team. If the margin ends up closer than two touchdowns, it'll be a surprise. There's no way the Browns can win- no way. So watch for Baltimore to come in here and lay waste to our football team.
What to watch for the Browns: There's nothing left to dissect with the Browns; no strategy to talk about. This team has only been competitive in two games and part of another. They've been blown out by elite opponents (Pittsburgh), mediocre opponents (Green Bay) and bad opponents (Chicago.) They can't move the ball on anyone; they can't stop anyone. Match-ups don't matter with this team. Home and road doesn't matter. Nothing matters.
The only thing left to speculate on is Eric Mangini's fate. Randy Lerner has more or less ruled out making a coaching change during the season, and he surely doesn't want to be on the spot for the $12 million needed to buy out the coach, in addition to what he's already paying Romeo Crennel and Phil Savage... but what happens if the Browns get humiliated at home on national television Monday night? What if they lose, say, 35-0? What if they're the same punchless, hopeless mess they've been all season, even after a bye week?
Is there any chance Mangini gets whacked if worse comes to worse Monday night? I have a feeling we're going to find out.
Good Past Win over the Ravens- January 1, 2006: Dennis Northcutt scored the winning touchdown on a 62-yard punt return in the third quarter as the Browns rallied from a 13-0 deficit to beat the Ravens, 20-16, and give Romeo Crennel a victory in the finale of his first season as head coach. Baltimore committed three turnovers and failed to score an offensive touchdown in falling to 6-10, its worst record since the 1998 season. Other than Northcutt, the biggest Browns hero was Antonio Bryant, who caught nine passes for 123 yards and a touchdown and became the first Cleveland receiver to top the 1,000-yard mark since Webster Slaughter in 1989.
Bad Past Loss to the Ravens- October 1, 2000: The Browns felt the full force of one of NFL history's great defenses in falling to the Ravens, 12-0. Baltimore couldn't get into the end zone but still piled up 348 yards, ran 71 plays to Cleveland's 49, and was never seriously threatened. The Browns committed four turnovers, three on interceptions thrown by Tim Couch. It was the first of four shutout losses for the 2000 team, which scored a meager 161 points.
Next Week for Both Teams: Cleveland visits Detroit; Baltimore hosts Indianapolis.
Trivia: Cleveland running backs have yet to score a touchdown this season. The only man to score a rushing touchdown is Derek Anderson, who has two.