While the 2-1 Ravens are still soaring from their Sunday night win against the New England Patriots, they need to shift their focus to the Thursday night home game against the 0-3 Cleveland Browns.
Don’t let their winless season fool you. It is an AFC North match-up and the Browns always play the Ravens tough.
The Ravens’ game prep is more mental than anything else and they need to prep their bodies to play on a short week. Thankfully their injury report is very short.
Tackle Jah Reid was back at practice this week after battling a calf injury he suffered in the preseason. Though his practice time was limited, he should be back in the line-up soon.
Cornerback Lardarius Webb has a knee ailment. He played in the Sunday night game against the Patriots, but was back on the injury report on Tuesday with limited practice and is probable for Thursday night.
Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has a knee injury. He left the game Sunday, but made it back to the field. While he thinks he can play, he is also listed as probable.
“I should be alright, I should be OK,” Ayanbadejo told reporters Tuesday. “That’s just part of football. You get dinged. Unfortunately we’ve got a Thursday night game and you have to work through it.”
Conversely, the Browns have 10 players on their injury report; three will be out including wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, tight end Alex smith and linebacker James-Michael Johnson.
It will be the first time the Ravens face rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden and rookie running back Trent Richardson.
According to NFL.com, the Ravens need to create turnovers and they “may give Browns quarterback Weeden a rude welcome to the rivalry”.
Weeden had a poor start to the season, he threw four interceptions in week one, but bounced back in weeks two and three.
Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco is likely to throw to his favorite target, tight end Dennis Pitta who has 18 receptions and two touchdowns this season. Flacco will also rely on running back Ray Rice who was explosive against the Patriots on Sunday.
I’ve heard the words “trap game” used when referring to this match-up. The Ravens know they can’t afford to sleep on the Browns, they must live up to their hype.
While all signs point to the Ravens winning this game, there are no guarantees in football, the “Any Given Sunday” theory can always happen, let’s hope it doesn’t rear its ugly head this week. Despite the extra challenge of prepping on a short week, the Ravens know what they need to do to win this game, I hope they get the job done.