When the Baltimore Ravens face the Cleveland Browns at home this Sunday, they’ll have a lot to deal with defensively, and a lot of story lines that are poised to bite them in their collective backsides.
The return of Derek Anderson, a former Ravens draft pick who has come into his own as quarterback of the Browns. Ranked tenth in the league in passing yards and fourth in touchdowns, the Ravens are hoping they don’t allow Anderson to look like Peyton Manning, as they already made Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethelisberger look like Tom Brady two weeks ago.
The Ravens hope that the alleged return of Chris McAllister will assist in stopping the defensive bleeding in the secondary. But whether or not he will be able to match up with the Browns’ primary receiver Braylon Edwards, who burned McAlister deep in the Ravens Week 4 loss, will be decided on Sunday.
The only hope that this team has is in it’s ability to stop the run. The Ebony Birds allow the second fewest rushing yards per contest in the league, (73.7) and face a rushing offense that is 18th in the league in the category. The primary back? Their old friend, Jamal Lewis.
Sure, Lewis is averaging four yards a carry and has gained 515 on the season. But that includes a 216 yard outing against Cincinnati in Week 2. His next highest output? 64 yards on 23 carries against the Ravens in two weeks later.
If you are a Ravens fan, there’s a lot to fear with this critical game against the Browns, but at least you know the team will be on steady ground against a running back who couldn’t find a path in Baltimore, or in Cleveland.