Browns-Ravens: Game Snapshot

All you need to know for today's matchup between the Browns and the Ravens...

GAME SNAPSHOT: Browns vs. Ravens

KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:05 ET

GAMEDATE: 09/24/06


TV: CBS, Gus Johnson, Steve Tasker

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SERIES: 15th meeting. The Ravens lead the series, 9-5. The Ravens haven't won in Cleveland since 2003. They have lost their last two trips there by a combined score of 40-19. In last season's finale, the Ravens couldn't hold a 13-point lead in a 20-16 loss. The Browns turned the game around in the third quarter, scoring scored two touchdowns in 1:22 (a 6-yard touchdown catch by Antonio Bryant and a 62-yard punt return for a score by Dennis Northcutt).

2006 rankings: Ravens: offense 24th (9th rush, 28th pass); defense 1st (1st rush, 3rd pass). Browns: offense 29th (26th rush, 21st pass); defense 30th (28th rush, 27th pass)

*Keys to the game: With the Browns expected to be without WR Joe Jurevicius for a second consecutive game and struggling to convert third downs, the Ravens will load up to stop the run and dare QB Charlie Frye to challenge CBs Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle. Baltimore has yet to allow a defensive touchdown, and Cleveland's beleaguered offensive line will have to find a way to contain the Ravens' front seven. Defensively, the Browns are very thin in the secondary and Ravens QB Steve McNair is seeking to atone for a poor performance last Sunday. But the key for Cleveland will be its tackling and limiting RB Jamal Lewis. The Ravens want a physical game in which they can break the Browns' will, so Cleveland can't afford to fall behind and have to win the game through its passing game.

*Fast Facts: Ravens: Are 51-6 (.895) under coach Brian Billick when entering the fourth quarter with a lead. ... RB Jamal Lewis has 1,329 rushing yards in 10 career games against Cleveland. Browns: Coach Romeo Crennel is 1-6 against the AFC North. ... Have won their past two home games against Baltimore.

PREDICTION: Ravens 24-14



  • RB Musa Smith started practice but did not finish. He could miss his first game with a knee injury. Mike Anderson would be the clear-cut No. 2 running back behind Jamal Lewis.
  • RB Mike Anderson appears to be the clear-cut No. 2 running back behind Jamal Lewis. Musa Smith did not finish practice and might be more than "questionable" for Sunday's game.
  • G Chris Chester was added to the injury report with a thigh injury. But he hasn't played the first two games when healthy.
  • WR Demetrius Williams has assumed the No. 3 receiver spot over Devard Darling and Clarence Moore. Williams has two catches for 18 yards.
  • TE Daniel Wilcox didn't have a reception after having three catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in the season opener. The Ravens are concentrating on getting the ball more to tight end Todd Heap.


  • DE Orpheus Roye will probably miss the game against Baltimore. Roye was the team's best defensive lineman last season, when he played through a knee problem. That he'll miss with a shoulder indicates the injury is serious.
  • RB Reuben Droughns figures to be ineffective -- if he plays at all against Baltimore. Droughns took a shot to his right shoulder in Cincinnati, and barely practice all week. It's tough to run in the NFL with a painful shoulder.
  • CB Gary Baxter will not face the Ravens. That means two of the team's top three corners are out, as Daylon McCutcheon was put on injured reserve this week. The Browns secondary may be just what Steve McNair needs to get the passing game going.
  • WR Joe Jurevicius figures to miss his second game in a row with a rib injury. Jurevicius' absence means Dennis Northcutt gets his snaps, and though Northcutt is a good player he's better suited to be a third receiver.
  • TE Kellen Winslow has a sore knee, but should face the Ravens. Winslow may see a lot of passes after Winslow popped off earlier in the week about not getting enough balls. The Browns seem to respond when criticism about one area of the team grows intense.
  • LB Willie McGinest missed the Bengals game when a calf problem flared up in pregame. He missed practice all week, and his status appears very questionable for the Ravens.

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