Thursday is usually the day where we break down the big match-up or big story of the week. Usually. Honestly, there isn’t one story in the Ravens-Browns game coming up on Sunday worth an entire column. Not one. There’s just nothing too interesting in this match-up, nothing the Browns are about that is worth a few hundred words.
So instead, here are three half-hearted items that the Ravens need to think about heading into Sunday…
1. Josh Cribbs. The Ravens kick and punt coverage improved in Week 2 against the dangerous Darren Sproles, thanks in large part to great kicks by both Steven Hauschka and Sam Koch. If there is one returner more dangerous than Sproles right now, it’s Cribbs. Sproles nearly broke a few big kick returns and his impact on field position hurt the Ravens defensive effort. The Ravens need to more than match their effort from last week to contain Cribbs.
2. Braylon Edwards. If you want to talk about big, fast receivers, you want to talk about Edwards. Personally, I’m still having nightmares about Vincent Jackson and Chris Chambers, I can’t even handle thinking about Edwards. The only threat the Ravens need to consider when the Browns have the ball is Edwards. If Brady Quinn can put the ball in the air, Edwards has a good shot of bringing it down. Last week Edwards caught six passes for more than 90 yards in a loss.
3. The Big Play. Let’s do the math together. Cribbs plus Edwards equals a dangerous mix and a good possibility of some big plays. We saw in Week 1 how just a pair of big plays can make any game look close. One interception… one big pass… one kick/punt return… A mistake here, a mistake there; it all adds up. The Ravens biggest worry, and our biggest worry as fans, should be the possibility that our defense continues to let up the big play.
The Browns aren’t heavy on talent. They aren’t loaded with heart at the moment either. But it only takes one player and one play to change a game. The Browns have more than a few individuals that can really make a difference even in the face of a floundering franchise.
But in the end… don’t bet against the Ravens.