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Preview: Cleveland at Baltimore
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, October 11, 2015
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
The Baltimore Ravens are seeking their second straight victory after enduring a difficult start to the season when they host the AFC North-rival Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Baltimore began the campaign with three consecutive losses, dropping each contest by fewer than seven points, before rallying from a 13-point, second-half deficit to post a 23-20 overtime victory at Pittsburgh in Week 4.
The triumph came at a price, however, as leading receiver Steve Smith Sr. suffered a back injury that is expected to sideline him for Sunday’s contest. Cleveland is coming off its second straight loss, a heartbreaking 30-27 setback at San Diego in which it forged a tie with 2:09 remaining in the fourth quarter before allowing a field goal as time expired. a1serviceplays.com The Browns figure to get a boost from the return of nickel back K’Waun Williams, who has missed two games but returned to practice this week after being cleared from the league’s concussion protocol. Cleveland is in search of its first road victory after losing its first two away from home by a combined 61-37 score.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Ravens -6.5. O/U: 43
ABOUT THE BROWNS (1-3): Williams’ return would be huge for Cleveland’s secondary as safety Tashaun Gipson (ankle) and cornerback Joe Haden (finger) both are questionable to face Baltimore. The Browns’ defense, which has allowed 141.5 yards on the ground to rank 31st against the rush, will have its hands full as Baltimore’s Justin Forsett gained 150 yards versus the Steelers. Cleveland fared well against the Chargers, however, yielding a season-low 91 rushing yards.
ABOUT THE RAVENS (1-3): Smith is not the only target Joe Flacco will be without on Sunday. Second-year receiver Michael Campanaro (back) is on injured reserve, rookie Breshad Perriman (knee) has yet to make his NFL debut and tight end Crockett Gilmore (calf) may miss his second consecutive contest. As a result of the injuries, Chris Givens was acquired from St. Louis on Saturday and is expected to make his debut against Cleveland.
1. Baltimore has won 13 of its last 14 meetings with Cleveland, including seven straight at home.
2. Cleveland RB Isaiah Crowell needs 40 yards from scrimmage to reach 1,000 for his career.
3. Ravens K Justin Tucker was named the NFL’s Special Teams Player of the Week after collecting 11 points against Pittsburgh, including a game-tying 42-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter and the 52-yard winner in overtime.
PREDICTION: Ravens 27, Browns 13